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I AM aware that some men of erudition and of 
leisure, entertain an unfavourable opinion of abridg- 
ments, and, as it respects works of science, this 
opinion has some weight ; but, in application to 
tracts on religion and morals, I think there is just 
ground to doubt its propriety. Is it not obvious, 
that if the quintessence of many valuable works, 
ancient and modern, on religious and moral sub- 
jects, were comprised and dispersed in an octavo 
volume, greater and more general advantage would 
accrue to the community at large, than by the ori- 
ginal works, which are much confined to the shelves 
of expensive libraries, in the shape of" ponderous 
quartos and folios ? 

But in any case, to render an abridgmeat ac- 
ceptable, the original should be of acknowledged 
reputation and utility. These qualities will not be 
denied to Barclay's Apologij, first published in the 
year 1678; and yet it is not read so generally as it 
deserves to be, owing, it may be presumed, to its 
having been composed in a manner, though very 
suitable to the state of literature in the seventeenth 

A 2 



century, yet not adapted to the taste of reading in 
the present times. With some, and those not a few, 
the length of the work may be an objection; for 
which reason it may fail of being useful to families, 
and persons unacquainted with learned subjects; 
and yet these are the people, as has been elsewhere 
justly observed, who seem most to stand in need 
of a clear and judicious explanation of the prin- 
ciples of religion, and on whom the practice of it 
should be enforced by the most convincing argu- 

It seems proper to apprize the reader, that in con- 
tracting the work and forming this abridgment, care 
has been used to reject nothing which amounts to 
an argument, or which is not elsewhere implied or 
insisted on. 

The authorities of the Fathers I have not con- 
sidered of essential import, agreeably to the senti- 
ment of our Author himself, who, in speaking of 
the Fathers, very frankly says, that " there are few 
of them to be found, who do not only frequently 
contradict one another, but themselves also." — 
Prop. x. Sec. 22. Moreover, in speaking of the 
Scriptures, he says : " For our parts, we are very 
willing that all our doctrines and practices be tried 
by them;" and further: "We do look upon them 
as the only fit outward judge of controversy among 
Christians," (Prop. iii. Sec. 6.) conformably to the 
observation of Chillingworth, that the Bible contains 
the religion of Protestants. And if I may use the 


^expression, I should say, that the New Testament is 
the Magna Charta of Christians*. Without some 
particular interposition of Providence, in what dark- 
ness would the world at this time be involved, if 
the illumination of the Scriptures had been with- 
lield ! and by what perplexities have authors em- 
barrassed themselves and their readers, by ex- 
tending the field of controversy, in regard to the 
tenets of the Christian religion, beyond the limits of 
Scripture ! 

Let none, therefore, (to use a term frequently 
adopted by our Author,) sottishly decry learning in 
the knowledge of Hebrew and Greek ; seeing, with- 
out it we should never have had one sentence of the 
Old or New Testament, in our own or any other 
modern language. What then would have become 
of the glorious attempt to diffuse the knowledge of 
the Scriptures to the uttermost limit of the habitable 

It is strange that any serious person, in his zeal 
for religion, should endeavour to form an argument 
against the utility of learning. Whoever is conver- 
sant with the pages of Sacred History, must have 

* Bishop Andrews, disputing with Cardinal Perron about 
ceremonies, urged, that man ought not to add to God's word, 
lest he lose his part in the Book of Life. The politic Cardinal 
asked, Why then do you retain the cross in baptism ? The 
Bishop answered, Because authority enjoins it. And for the 
same reason, replied the Cardinal, do we retain all the rest of the 
ceremonies. R. H. 


remarked three notable instances of men of great 
distinction for learning being selected by Divine 
Wisdom, for purposes of the highest importance to 
religion and morals. 

Not to mention any others, Moses, Daniel, and 
the apostle Paul, are such instances. The first, 
largely imbued with the learning of Egypt, the 
school of literature and science in the Heathen 
world, was the appointed lawgiver of the children 
of Israel. Of him, that eminent scholar Dionysius 
Longinus testifies, that he was no common man*. 
The second lived in a country where learning and 
the sciences were successfully cultivated; in these 
Daniel was pre-eminently distinguished, and quali- 
fied to achieve the purposes of Divine Wisdom. 

The apostle Paul, more learned unquestionably 
than any of the apostles, and accurately versed in 
the rabbinical doctrines, is a signal instance of the 
importance of learning, when sanctified and directed 
to the purpose of promoting the cause of religion 
and virtue. He was commissioned the Apostle to 
the Gentiles, the qualified instrument to spread the 
glad tidings of the gospel, and to promulgate the 
doctrines of Christ to the nations around, amongst 
whom the Greek was at that time generally spoken 
or understood. 

In the writings of the Greek autliors, Paul was 
obviously conversant, as appears by the frequent 


quotations from them, incorporated with his Epistles. 
The same learned author, Longinus, places him 
amongst the most distinguished characters of Greece; 
after naming Demosthenes, Lysias, .^schines, 
Aristides, and others, he classes with them Paul 
of Tarsus*. 

Learning and science, like all other qualifications, 
may be perverted and abused ; the}'^ are, therefore, 
no certain or necessary guides to the individual ac- 
complishment of that most important of all purposes, 
the purpose of religion ; but sanctified to us by di- 
vine goodness, they are of most essential benefit. 
Here let it be noted, that before they can ^be sanc- 
tified to us, we must possess them. But let me 
be correctly understood : I do not speak of learning 
and science as convertible terms with that know- 
ledge, of which the prophet under divine commission 
speaks, when he says : " My people are destroyed 
for lack of knowledge : because thou hast rejected 

* W^oy TKTo/r TlxvXoi o Txpasvs^ ov rivx x.xi irfuiron <piof^i vpo'ifxfji.svov 
^oyixaros a»«7ro^«>tTa.— Longinus. 

On the preceding quotation the Editor thinks it incumbent 
upon him to remark, that although it stands in both Pearce's 
and Toup's editions of Longinus, as a fragment, contained in 
a manuscript copy of the Gospels, preserved in the Vatican 
library, yet Fabricius declares that it is not genuine ; and Dr. 
Lardner, whose authority is of the first order, seems to coincide 
with him in opinion. 

See Lardner s Works, 8t'o. edit. vol. 8. pp. \66, 167- 
Fabricius, Bib. Grcvc. torn. 4. p. 445. 


knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt b^ 
no priest to me."— Hosea. Let us not, howevei'j 
abandon the hope, that in the providential arrange* 
ment and ordination of human affairs, that happy 
period spoken of by the evangelical prophet will ar- 
rive, when "wisdom and knowledge shall be the 
stability of thy times."— Isaiah. 

To shew, however, that little stress need be laid 
on the jarring opinions of the Fathers, it is quoting 
no ordinary authority in Biblical criticism, when I 
adduce the testimony of Dr. Watson, Bishop of 
Landaff, who says, that* *' as interpreters of Scrip- 
ture, the Fathers are far inferior to the moderns." 

Theological Tracts, 2nd Edit. Vol. 6. Catalogue of Books, 
in Divinity, under article " Patrumqui temporibus Apos-' 
iolicis, Sfc.*." 

It was observed, by that eminent character, Chil- 
lingworth: "I see plainly, and with my own eyes, 
that there are popes against popes, councils against 
councils, some Fathers against others, the same 
Fathers against themselves, a consent of Fathers 
of one age against a consent of Fathers of another 
age, the church of one age against the church of ano- 
ther agef ." 

* I determined to study nothing but my Bible, being much 
unconcerned about the opinions of councils, fathers, churches, 
bishops, and other men, as little inspired as myself. 

Dr. Watson, Landaff, 

t Whoever wishes to form a correct opinion of the authority 
and falHbility of councils, whether general, national, provincial, 


1 think it would be needless to add any further 
vindication of the propriety of omitting, in this albu- 
men tative and methodical compendium of Christian 
doctrine, the quotations from the Fathers; nor should 
I have thought it necessary to say so much respect- 
ing them, but in deference to the opinion of those 
who are unwilling to forego the authorities of the 
Fathers, when they rank in their own favour. 

There are other parts not essential to the argu* 
ment, which have also been omitted, and the re- 
markable redundancy of our Author's style has 
afforded ample scope for abridgment* 

The formal syllogisms, also, which give a stiffness 
to the work, have generally been dropped, but the 
substance retained. 

By these means the work has been so much con* 
tracted, and that, as it is conceived, without abating 
the strength or symmetry of the ancient fabric, that 
it is hoped no person, who relishes sound argument 
in support of the truths of Christianity, and, con- 
nected therewith, the most important interests of 
mankind, will fmd it a task to peruse this abridg- 
ment, which the candid reader is requested to re- 
ceive, as it is intended, for the purpose of informa- 
tion and edification, not of controversy. 

It must, indeed, be admitted, that instruction 

or diocesan, would do well to consult the valuable work of 
Bishop Taylor, on the Liberty of Prophesying, Sect. 6. 



given in a flowing, easy style, is more accordant 
with the taste of the times ; but it may, perhaps, be 
assumed, that such instruction is more evanescent 
and less impressive, than that which is derived 
through the medium of a composition requiring a 
more close exercise of the understanding in the 
enquiry after truth: a hope is therefore entertained, 
that the reader, whose mind is receptive of con- 
viction, and seriously intent upon religious improve- 
ment, will take up this volume with a disposition 
duly to appreciate cogency of argument without the 
ornament of style. 

And when the extraordinary occurrences of the 
times press upon the mind considerations other 
than those of a temporal nature, and when per- 
nicious tenets are diffused with uncommon assiduity, 
a manual of faith and doctrines, like the present 
volume, may be of some use in the community, 
to promote correctness of thinking, and Christian 
rectitude of conduct, equally free from the influence 
of superstition and infidelity : doctrines which, being 
fairly deducible from the writings of the evangelists 
and apostles, will stand the test of time and the as- 
saults of opposition, whatever, in the lapse of years, 
may be the practice and conduct of those who pro- 
fess them ; and who will do well never to forget that 
our Author wrote his book as an Apology for the T'rue 
Christian Divinity, to promote the practical know- 
ledge of which has been the sincere purpose of this 


I have been solicitous, for the sake of the less 
opulent classes of the community, to bring this 
work into such a compass, as may place it, in 
point of price, within their reach ; for, generous as 
this nation is in administering to the manifold wants 
of the poor, to an extent and diversity perhaps un- 
precedented in the annals of mankind; and not- 
withstanding the happiness and good order of so- 
ciety so much depend upon their instruction ; yet, 
though much has been done of late years, much 
remains to be done, in regard to the moral and re- 
ligious education of the lower orders, whose eternal 
happiness is of equal importance with that of the 
highest order of human beings ; for in the immen- 
sity of eternity all temporal distinctions sink and 
vanish. This sentiment may, in the present state 
of existence, be confirmed to our understandings, if 
we only suppose one of the highest and one of the 
lowest order of the human race upon their knees, 
in supplication to the throne of grace ; when we 
may be assured, that the sovereign prince and the 
abject child of poverty, will find and feel themselves 
equally distant from the glorious source of mercy 
and of love ; and in the solemn judgment to come, 
the former must stand divested of all temporal dis- 
tinction of superiority over the latter. 

Let the poor then entertain a just sense of the 
dignity of their nature, and consider themselves 
e(|ually called to glory and to virtue; ca})able, as the 


Scriptures teach, of becoming " heirs of God, and 
Joint heirs with Christ." 

What a striking lesson to the pride of man, and 
what consolation to the friendless and indigent, to 
reflect, that the King of Kings, the Lord of Life 
and Glory, was brought forth in a stable, on a bed 
of straw, a species of accommodation within the 
Teach of the meanest mortals; and even afterwards, 
this divine person had not whereon to lay his head! 

Perhaps it is a singular instance in the history 
•of religion in modern times, that the society, for an 
explanation and vindication of whose principles 
and doctrines this Apology was intended, want not, 
in the performance of their worship, the aid of man, 
nor can they be deprived of the benefit of such wor- 
ship by the power of man. The qualification for 
true worship is as a dew from the Lord, that tarrieth 
not for man^ nor waitetkjor the sons of men. 

This abridgment has been formed, chiefly from 
the eighth edition of the Apology, printed in 1780, 
but with frequent reference to the Latin original, 
by which a number of errors in the English edition 
has been corrected; but, in whatever manner it 
may appear to have been executed, certain it is, 
that an abridgment of Barclay's Apology, as a me- 
thodical, and at the same time a brief exposition, as 
well as vindication, of the religious^ principles of 
those with whom the Author professed, has long 
been a work looked for by many judicious men, 
warmly interested in the prosperity and diffusion of 


truth, and sincerely attached to the cause of Christi- 

It will not be deemed improper here to observe, 
that our Author was a man, not only of distin- 
guished talents, much improved by a classical edu- 
cation, but of a remarkably mild disposition and 
great suavity of manners ; if, therefore, the reader 
should feel his mind disturbed, or unpleasantly af- 
fected, by the severity of any strictures which re- 
main in ,the following work, upon the opinions or 
conduct of any description of Christian professors, 
it is hoped that he will ascribe it less to the habit 
of the writer than to the temper of the times, when 
theological controversy was conducted with too 
much asperity, even on the side of truth. 

Geo. Harrison. 

West Hill, 

N.B. The Editor wishes to apprize the reader, that the so- 
ciety of the people called Quakers are in no degree implicated 
by what is said in the preceding Address, or in the Notes con- 
tained in the following work, or by the manner in which the 
Abridgment is executed. 

Prefixed to the following work is the Address of the Author 
to King Charles the Second, which is not unworthy the attention 
of those who by Divine Providence are entrusted with the exer- 
cise of power and authority in the affairs of mankind. 


Of the purpose contemplated by the following 
work, sufficient has probably been said in the pre- 
face to the former edition ; in which it may have 
appeared that the essential integrity of our eminent 
author's ancient fabric has been cautiously and 
strictly preseFved; and the Editor believes he is war- 
ranted in saying, that this volume, in its present 
form, contains a more concise and complete expli- 
cation of the religious principles and doctrines of 
the people with whom our" author professed, than 
any that is extant. 

This explication is supported by solid reasoning 
and cogent arguments, adapted to the understand- 
ings of learned and unlearned, and peculiarly de- 
serving the deep attention of the descendants of the 
author's fellow-professors, respecting whom, as a 
religious society, the Editor is induced to state the 
truth, be the inference what it may ; and state he 
does, without meaning the least disparagement to 
any other class or denomination of Christians. 
Under this impression then, he has no hesitation in 
saying, that the Society of Friends, commonly called 
Quakers, have deserved well of their country; for 
where, in the king's dominions, is there a body of 
people, the individuals of which, aged, middle aged 


and young, male and female, who have come forward 
with more alacrity — with more activity and practi- 
cal effect, in promoting the numerous institutions of 
their native land? such as are calculated to alleviate 
the distresses, and to improve the moral and re- 
ligious habits of their fellow-subjects: so that 
though the number of the society in Great Britain 
and Ireland is very small, comparatively with the 
whole population, it may be justly said that they 
furnish an ample quota of good citizenship, in all its 
functions connected with social life, and that their 
enemies, if such there are, cannot charge them with 
having ever conducted themselves in a manner hos- 
tile to the government under which they live. 

Hence it may be fairly inferred that the princi- 
ples and doctrines of this Society have a powerful 
and intrinsieal influence upon their conduct, as men 
and Christians, in the discharge of the social and 
relative duties of life; and to make those doctrines 
and those principles, which the Editor conceives to 
be the doctrines and principles of the Gospel dis- 
pensation, more generally known, is the purpose of 
this abridgment. 

Away then with the idle cavilling and affected 
contempt of their peculiarities, innocent in them- 
selves, and offensive only to minds not properly im- 
bued with the leading, practical principle of Chris- 
tianity, with charity and universal benevolence. 

It is matter of complacency and only justice on 
the part of the Editor to say, that with respect to 
the higher orders of the community, a disposition 


to sneer at this formerly-despised people has ceased 
to exist, and is now confined to the lowest rabble. 

Such is the pleasing but natural result of an uni- 
form system of sobriety, integrity, morality, and 
virtue in all the social relations of life, practised 
now for more than a century and a half, on the 
part of this people; who are kept together as a 
body of Christians, by the excellency and leavening 
operation of the principle they profess, independent 
of any routine of forms or ceremonies, or prescribed 
formula of faith. 

Happy will it be for the inhabitants of this land, 
if their improvement in morality and virtue, and 
their practice of the Christian duties, keep pace with 
their progress in knowledge and science. To pro- 
mote the accomplishment of this desirable state of 
things is unquestionably the duty, and must be the 
wish, of every good man. 

To this reference to their doctrines and practice 
it may be added, that the economy of the Society, 
in its system of religious discipline, is highly con- 
ducive to the preservation of Christian harmony, 
and to the promotion of consistency and purity of con- 
duct in religious association among themselves. In 
confirmation of this, I may confidently, and with com- 
placency, refer the impartial reader to a most valu- 
able compilation, printed in 1802, under the title 
of '* Extracts from the Minutes and Advices of the 
Yearly Meeting of Friends," and sold by A^''illiam 
Phillips, George Yard, Lombard-street. 


xvrii piJEFAcr., kc. 

I speak of this system in the abstract : I do not 
mean to say, that in all cases the administration of 
their discipline is uniformly and correctly practised 
by their accredited assemblies, under the denomi- 
nation of Monthly Meetings. To aggregate bodies, 
no more than to individuals, can we ascribe infalli- 
bility. But the longer I live, the more I admire the 
excellent economy of this people, in its religious and 
social relations, and in its happy tendency to pre- 
serve the members of the society from the contagion 
of moral evil, alas ! too prevalent in the various 
classes of the community. Under this impression 
I feel a deep interest in their prosperity, as con- 
nected with the virtuous tuition of the rising and of 
future generations. 

This abridgment, which has received the spontane- 
ous approbation of many pious and judicious charac- 
ters, both in England and elsewhere, is tlius again re- 
spectfully submitted, as a manual of Christian doctrine, 
to an enlightened public, by a sincere welwisher to 
the cause it advocates. It only remains to repeat, 
that any merit or demerit, that may be ascribed to the 
abridgment, or to the notes inserted in this work, does 
not at all attach to the Society of Friends. 

George Harrison. 

West Hill, 

N. B. By tlie kind assistance of two intelligent and judicious 
Friends, who have carefully examined the work, and to whom 
the Editor feels himself highly obliged, this second edition of 
tlio abridgment has, in several places, been improved. 



King of Great Britain^ and the Dominions 
thereunto helonging^ 


A servant of Jesus Christ, called of God 
to the dispensation of the Gospel now 
again revealed, and, after a long dark 
night of apostasy, commanded to be 
preached to all nations, wisheth health 
and salvation. 

As the condition of kings and princes placeth 
them in a station more obvious to the view and 
observation of the world, than that of other men; 
of whom, as Cicero observes, neither any word or 
action can be obscure; so are those kings, during 
whose appearance upon the stage of this world it 
pleaseth the Great King of Kings singularly 
to make known unto men the wonderful steps of 
his unsearchable providence, more signally observ- 
ed, and their lives and actions more diligently 
remarked and inquired into by posterity; espe- 
cially if those things be such as not only relate to 
the outward transactions of this world, but also 

b 2 


are signalized by the manifestation or revelation 
of the knowledge of God in matters spiritual and 
religious. These are the things that rendered the 
lives of Cyrus, Augustus Caesar, and Constantine 
the Great in former times, and of Charles the 
Fifth, and some other modern princes in these last 
ages, so considerable. 

But among all the transactions which it hath 
pleased God to permit, for the glory of his power, 
and the manifestation of his wisdom and provi- 
dence, no age furnisheth us with things so strange 
and marvellous, whether with respect to matters 
civil or religious, as these that have fallen out 
within the compass of thy time ; who, though thou 
be not yet arrived at the fiftieth year of thy age, 
hast yet been a witness of stranger things than many 
ages before produced. So that whether we respect 
those various troubles wherein thou foundest thyself 
engaged while scarce got out of thy infancy ; the 
many different afflictions wherewith men of thy 
circumstances are often unacquainted ; the strange 
and unparallelled fortune that befel thy father; 
thy own narrow escape, and banishment fol- 
lowing thereupon, with the great improbability of 
thy ever returning, at least without very much 
pains and tedious combatings ; or finally the inca- 
pacity thou wert under to accomplish such a design, 
considering the strength of those that had possessed 
themselves of thy throne, and the terror they had 
inflicted upon foreign states ; and yet that, after all 
this, thou shouldst be restored without stroke of 


sword, the help or assistance of foreign states, or 
the contrivance and work of human policy; all these 
do sufficiently declare that it is the Lord's doing ; 
which, as it is marvellous in our eyes, so it will 
justly be a matter of wonder and astonishment to 
generations to come ; and may sufficiently serve, 
if rightly observed, to confute and confound 
that Atheism wherewith this age doth so much 

As the vindication of the liberty of conscience 
(which thy father, by giving way to the importu- 
nate clamours of the clergy, the answering and ful- 
filling of whose unrighteous wills has often proved 
hurtful and pernicious to princes, sought in some 
part to restrain) was a great occasion of those trou- 
bles and revolutions; so the pretence of conscience 
was that which carried it on, and brought it to that 
pitch it came to. And though no doubt some that 
were engaged in that work designed good things, at 
least in the beginning, albeit always wrong in the 
manner they took to accomplish it, viz. by carnal 
weapons ; yet so soon as they had tasted the sweets 
of the possessions of them they had turned out, they 
quickly began to do those things themselves for 
which they had accused others. For their hands 
were found full of oppression, and they hated the 
reproof of instruction, vihich is the way of life ; and 
they evilly entreated the messengers of the Lord, 
and caused his prophets to be beaten and imprison- 
ed, and persecuted his people, whom he had called 
and gathered out from among them, whom he had 


ma de to beat their swords into plough-shares, and 
their spears into pruning-hooks, and not to learn 
carnal war anymore: but he raised them up, and 
armed them with spiritual weapons, even with his 
own Spirit and power, whereby they testified in the 
streets and highways, and publick markets and 
synagogues, against the pride, vanity, lusts, and 
hypocrisy of that generation, who were righteous 
in their own eyes, though often cruelly entreated 
therefore ; and they faithfully prophesied and fore- 
told them of their judgment and downfal, which 
came upon them, as by several warnings and epis- 
tles delivered to Oliver and Richard Cromwell, the 
parliament, and other then powers, yet upon record, 
doth appear. 

And after it pleased God to restore thee, what 
oppressions, what banishments, and evil entreat- 
ings they have met with, by men pretending thy 
authority, and cloaking their mischief with thy 
name, is known to most men in this island ; espe- 
cially in England, where there is scarce a prison 
that hath not been filled with them, nor a judge 
before whom they have not been haled; though 
they could never yet be found guilty of any 
thing that might deserve that usage. Therefore 
the sense of their innocency did no doubt greatly 
contribute to move thee, three years ago, to cause 
some hundreds of them to be set at liberty: for 
jndeed their sufferings are singular, and obviously 


distinguishable from all the rest of such as live under 
thee, in these two respects. 

First, in tliat among all the plots contrived by 
others against thee since thy return into Britain, 
there was never any, owned of that people, found 
or known to be guilty, (though many of them have 
been taken and imprisoned upon such kind of 
jealousies,) but were always found innocent and 
harmless, as became the followers of Christ ; not 
coveting after, nor contending for, the kingdoms of 
this world, but subject to every ordinance of man, 
for conscience' sake. 

Secondly, In that in tlie hottest times of per- 
secution, and the most violent prosecution of those 
laws made against meetings, being clothed with 
innocency, they have boldly stood to their testimony 
for God, without creeping into holes or corners, or 
once hiding themselves, as all other Dissenters have 
done; but daily met, according to their custom, in 
the public places appointed for that end ; so that 
none of thy officers can say of them, tliat they 
have surprised them in a corner, overtaken them 
in a private conventicle, or catched them lurking in 
their secret chambers ; nor needed they to send out 
spies to get them, whom they were sure daily to 
find in their open assemblies, testifying for God 
and his truth. 

By which those who have an eye to see, may 
observe their Christian patience and courage, con- 
stancy and suffering joined in one, more than in 

TO Tlli: KING. 

any other people tliat differ fi-om them, or oppose 
them. And yet, in the midst of those troubles, 
thou canst bear witness, that as on the one part 
they never sought to detract from thee, or to render 
thee and thy government odious to the people, by 
nameless and scandalous pamphlets and libels; so 
on the other hand they have not spared to admo- 
nish, exhort, and reprove thee; and have faith- 
fully discharged their consciences towards thee, 
without flattering words, as ever the true prophets in 
ancient times used to do to those kings and princes, 
under whose power violence and oppression were 

And although it is evident by experience to be 
most agreeable both to divine truth and human 
policy to allow every one to serve God according 
to their consciences, nevertheless those other sects, 
who for the most part durst not peep out in the 
times of persecution, while these innocent people 
stood bold and faithful, do now combine in a joint 
confederacy, notwithstanding all the former jan- 
glings and contentions among themselves, to render 
us odious; seeking unjustly to wrest our doctrine 
and words, as if they were both inconsistent with 
Christianity and civil society: so that to effectuate 
this their work of malice against us, they have not 
been ashamed to take the help, and commend the 
labours, of some invidious Socinians against us. 
So do Herod and Pontius Pilate agree to crucify 


But our practice, known to thee by good ex- 
perience to be more consistent with Christianity 
and civil society, and the peace and welfare of this 
island, than that of those who thus accuse us, doth 
sufficiently guard us against this calumny; and 
we may indeed appeal to the testimony of thy 
conscience, as a witness for us in the face of the 

These things moved me to present the world with 
a brief but true account of this people's principles, 
in some short theological propositions; which, ac- 
cording to the will of God, proving successful, be- 
yond my expectation, to the satisfaction of several, 
and to the exciting in many a desire of being farther 
informed concerning us, as being every where evil 
spoken of; and likewise meeting with public oppo- 
sition by some, as such will always do, so long as the 
devil rules in the children of disobedience ; I was 
thereby farther engaged, in the liberty of the Lord, 
to present to the world this Apology of the truth 
held by those people: which, because of thy interest 
in them, and theirs in thee, as having first appeared, 
and mostly increased, in these nations under thy 
rule, I make bold to present unto thee. 

Thou knowest, and hast experienced, their faiths 
fulness towards their God, their patience in suffering, 
their peaceableness towards the king, their honesty, 
plainness, and integrity in their faithful warnings 
and testimonies to thee ; and if thou wilt allow thy- 
self so much time as to read this, thou mayest find 


how consonant their principles are both to Scripture, 
truth, and right reason. The simplicity of their be- 
haviour, the generality of their condition, as being 
poor men and illiterate; the manner of their pro- 
cedure, being without the wisdom and policy of this 
world, hath made many conclude them fools and 
madmen, and neglect them, as not being capable of 
reason. But though it be to them as their crown, 
thus to be esteemed of the wise, the great, and 
learned of this world, and though they rejoice to be 
accounted fools for Christ's sake, yet of late some, 
even such who in the world's account are esteemed 
both wise and learned, begin to judge otherwise of 
them, and find that they hold forth things very agree- 
able both to Scripture, reason, and true learning. 
- As it is inconsistent with the truth I bear, so it 
is far from me, to use this epistle as an engine to 
flatter thee, the usual design of such works; and 
therefore I can neither dedicate it to thee, nor crave 
thy patronage, as if thereby I might have more con- 
fidence to present it to the world, or be more hope- 
ful of its success. To God alone I owe what I have, 
and that more immediately in matters spiritual ; and 
therefore to him alone, and to the service of his 
truth, I dedicate whatever work he brings forth in 
me ; to whom only the praise and honour appertain, 
whose truth needs not the patronage of worldly 
princes; his arm and power being that alone by 
which it is propagated, established, and confirmed. 
But I found it upon my spirit to take occasion to 


present this book unto thee ; that as thou liast been 
often warned by several of that people, who are in- 
habitants of England ; so thou mayest not want a 
seasonable advertisement from a member of thy 
ancient kingdom of Scotland ; and that thou mayest 
know, which I hope thou wilt have no reason to be 
troubled at, that God is raising up and increasing 
that people in this nation. And the nations shall 
also hereby know, that the truth we profefs is not a 
work of darkness, nor propagated by stealth ; and 
that we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, 
because we know it to be the power of God unto 
salvation ; and that we are no ways so inconsistent 
with government, nor such disturbers of the peace, 
as our enemies, by traducing us, have sought to make 
the world believe we are : for which to thee I dare 
appeal, as a witness of our peaceableness and 
Christian patience. 

Generations to come shall not more admire that 
singular step of Divine Providence, in restoring 
thee to thy throne, without outward bloodshed, 
than they shall admire the increase and progress 
of this truth, without all outward help, and against 
so great opposition ; which shall be none of the least 
things rendering thy memory remarkable. God 
hath done great things for thee; he hath sufficiently 
shewn thee, that it is by him princes rule, and that 
he can pull down and set up at his pleasure. He 
hath often faithfully warned thee by his servants, 
since he restored thee to thy royal dignity, that thy 


heart might not wax wanton against him, to forget 
his mercies and providences towards thee; whereby 
he might permit thee to be soothed up, and lulled 
asleep in thy sins, by the flattering of court-para- 
sites, who, by their fawning, are the ruin of many 

There is no king in the world, who can so experi- 
mentally testify of God's providence and goodness; 
neither is there any who rules so many free people, 
SO many true Christians: which thing renders thy 
government more honourable, thyself more consider- 
able, than the accession of many nations, filled with 
slavish and superstitious souls. 

Thou hast tasted of prosperity and adversity ; 
thou knowest what it is to be banished thy native 
country, to be over-ruled as well as to rule, and sit 
upon the throne; and being oppressed, tliou hast 
reason to know how hateful the oppressor is both 
to God and man: if after all these warnings and 
advertisements, thou dost not turn unto the Lord 
with all thy heart, but forget him, who remembered 
thee in thy distress, and give up thyself to follow 
lust and vanity, surely great will be thy condem- 

Against which snare, as well as the temptation of 
those that may or do feed thee, and prompt thee to 
evil, the most excellent and prevalent remedy will 
be, to apply thyself to that I.iglit of Christ, which 
shineth in thy conscience, which neither can, nor 
will flatter thee, nor suffer thee to be at ease in thy 


sins ; but doth and will deal plainly and faithfully 
with thee, as those that are followers thereof have 
also done. 

GOJD Alm'iglitij, ivlio hath so signally hitherto 
visited thee ivith his love, so touch and reach 
thy heart, ere the day of thy visitation be expired, 
that thou mayest effectually turn to him, so as to 
improve thy place and station for his name. So 
wisheth, so prayeth. 

Thy faithful friend and subject, 

Robert Barclay. 

From (/rt/, in my native country 
of Scotland, the 25th of the 
month called November^ in the 
year M.DC.LXXV. 



Prop. I. Concerning the true Foundation of Knowledge . . 1 

Prop. II. Of Immediate Revelation 3 

Prop. III. Concerning the Scriptures 30 

Prop, IV. Concerning the Condition of Man in the Fall . . 47 

Prop. V. 4' VI. Of universal and saving Light 59 ^-^'"^^ 

Prop. VII. Concerning Justification »c 101 

Prop. VIII. Concerning Perfection 127 

Prop. IX. Concerning Perseverance and the Possibility of 

Falling from Grace 141 

Prop. X. Concerning the Ministry 146u^-'^ 

Prop. XI. Concerning Worship 177i,-''''^ 

Prop. XII. Concerning Baptism , SOSu'-^'^ 

Prop. XIII. Concerning the Communion, or Participation 

of the Body and Blood of Christ 229 

Prop. XIV. Concerning the Power of the Civil Magistrate 

in Matters purely religious, and pertaining 

to the Conscience '^.b'r 

Prop. XV. Concerning Salutations and Recreations, &c. . 260*^'-'''^ 






Concerning the true Foundatio7i of Knowledge. 

Seeing the height of all happiness is placed in the true 
knowledge of God, ("This is life eternal, to know thee 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast 
sent,") the right understanding of this foundation of 
knowledge is that which is most necessary to be known 
and believed in the first place. 

He that desireth to acquire any art or science, seeketh 
first those means by which that art or science is obtained. 
If we ought to do so in things natural, how much more 
then in spiritual? In this affair then should our inquiry 
be the more diligent, because he that errs in the entrance 
is not so easily brought back again into the right way. 

Thus when a man first proposeth to himself the know- 
ledge of God, from a sense of his own unworthiness, and 
wearied by the secret checks of his conscience, and the 
tender yet real glances of God's light upon his heart, the 



earnest desires he has to be redeemed from his present 
trouble, and the fervent breathings he has to be eased of 
his disordered passions, and to find peace in the certain 
knowledge of God, and in the assurance of his love and 
good-will towards him, make his heart tender, and ready 
to receive any impression; and so (not having then a dis- 
tinct discerning) through forwardness embraceth any thing 
that brings present ease. If either through the reverence 
he bears to certain persons, or from the secret incUnation 
to what doth comply with his natural disposition, he fall 
tipon any principles or means, by which he apprehends he 
may come to know God, it will be hard to remove him 
thence again, how wrong soever they may be : for the first 
anguish being over, he becomes more hardy; and the 
enemy being near, creates a false peace, and a certain con- 
fidence, which is strengthened by the mind's unwillingness 
to enter again into the former anxiety of a search. 

This is sufficiently verified in the example of the 
Pharisees and Jewish Doctors, who most of all resisted 
Christ, disdaining to be esteemed ignorant ; for this vain 
opinion, which they had of their knowledge, hindered them 
from the true knowledge ; and the mean people, who were 
not so much pre-occupied with former principles, nor con- 
ceited of their OTvn knowledge, did easily believe. This is 
also abundantly proved by the experience of all such, as be- 
ing secretly touched with the call of God's grace unto them, 
do apply themselves to false teachers, where the remedy 
proves worse than the disease ; because, instead of knowing 
God, or the things relating to their salvation aright, they 
drink in wrong opinions of him; from which it is harder to 
be disentangled, than while tlie soul remains a blank. For 
they that conceit themselves wise, are worse to deal with 
than those that are sensible of their ignorance. Nor hath 
it been less the device of tlic great enemy of mankind, to 


persuade men into wrong notions of God, than to keep 
them altogether from acknowledging him; the latter taking 
with few, hecause odious, hut the other having been the 
constant ruin of the world : for there hath scarce been a 
nation found, but hath had some notions or other of re- 
ligion ; so that not from their denying any Deity, but from 
their misapprehensions of him, hath proceeded all the 
idolatry and superstition of the world ; yea, hence even 
atheism itself hath proceeded : for these various opinions 
of God and religion, being so much mixed with the uncer- 
tain judgments of men, have begotten in many the opinion, 
that there is no God at all. 

How needful and desirable that knowledge is, which 
brings life eternal, Epictetus sheweth, saying excellently 
well *, " Know, that the main foundation of piety is this, 
to have right opmions and apprehensions of God." 

This therefore I judged necessary, as a first principle, in 
the first place, to affirm ; and this I suppose will not need 
much farther explanation or defence, as being generally 
acknowledged by all, as that which will easily commend 
itself to every man's reason and conscience. 


Of Immediate Revelation. 

Seeing no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he 
to whom the Son revealeth him; and seeing the revela- 
tion of the Son is in a)id by the Spirit ; therefore the 

I'uchir. cap. 3(J, 


testimony of the Spirit is that alone by which the true 
knowledge of God hath been, is, and can be revealed ; 
who as, by the moving of his own Spirit, he disposed the 
ehaos of this world into that wonderful order in which 
it was in the beginning, and created man a living soul, 
to rule and govern it, so by the revelation of the same 
Spirit he hath manifested himself all along unto the sons 
of men, both patriarchs, prophets, and apostles ; which- 
revelations of God by the Spirit, whether by outward 
voices and appearances, dreams, or inward objective 
manifestations in the heart, were of old the formal object 
of their faith, and remain yet so to be; since the object 
of the saints' faith is the same in all ages, though held 
forth under divers administrations. Moreover, these 
divine inward revelations, which we make absolutely 
necessary for the building up of true faith, neither do 
nor can ever contradict the outward testimony of the 
Scriptures, or right and sound reason. Yet from hence 
it will not follow, that these divine revelations are to be 
subjected to the test, either of the outward testimony of 
the Scriptures, or of the natural reason of man, as to a 
more noble or certain rule and touchstone; for this 
divine revelation, and inward illumination, is that which 
is evident and clear of itself, forcing, by its own evidence 
and clearness, the well-disposed understanding to assent, 
irresistibly moving the same thereunto, even as the com- 
mon principles of natural truths do incline the mind to 
a natural assent: as, that the whole is gi'eater than its 
part; that two contradictories can neither be both true, 
nor both false. 

§. I. It is very probable that many carnal Christians 
will oppose this proposition; who being wholly unac- 
quainted with the movings and actings of God's Spirit 


upon their Iiearts, judge the same nothing necessary; and 
to that height is the generaUty of Christians apostatized 
and degenerated, that though there be not any thing more 
plainly asserted, more seriously recommended, or more 
certainly attested, in all the writings of the Holy Scriptures, 
yet nothing is less minded by all sorts of Christians, than 
immediate and divine revelation. Whereas of old none 
were ever judged Christians, but such as had the Spirit 
of Christ. Rom. viii. 9. But now many do boldly call 
themselves Christians, who make no difficulty of con- 
fessing they are without it. Of old they were accounted 
the sons of God, wlio were led by the Spirit of God, 
ibid. ver. 14. But now many aver themselves sons of God, 
who know nothing of this leader; and he that affirms him- 
self so led is, by the pretended orthodox of this age, pre- 
sently proclaimed a heretic. The reason hereof is very 
manifest, viz. Because many in these days, under the name 
of Christians, do experimentally find, that they are not 
actuated nor led by God's Spirit ; yea, many great doctors, 
divines, and bishops of Christianity, (commonly so called,) 
have AvhoUy shut their ears from hearing, and their eyes 
from seeing, this inward guide ; whence they are, by their 
own experience, brought to this strait, either to confess 
that they are as yet ignorant of God, and have not the true 
knowledge of him, or that this knowledge is acquired with- 
out immediate revelation. 

For the better understanding then of this proposition, 
we do distinguish betwixt the certain knowledge of God, 
and the uncertain; betwixt the spiritual knowledge, and 
the literal ; the saving heart-knowledge, and the airy head- 
knowledge. The last, we confess, may, be divers ways 
obtained ; but the first by no other way than the imme- 
diate manifestation and revelation of God's Spirit, shining 
in ai^d upon the heart, and enlightening the understaiidini;. 


§, II. Having then proposed to myself, in these propo- 
sitions, to affirm those things which relate to the true and 
effectual knowledge which brings life eternal with it, I 
have truly affirmed, that this knowledge is no otherways 
attained, and that none have any true ground to beUeve 
they have attained it, who have it not by this revelation of 
God's Spirit. 

The certainty of wliich truth is such, that it hath been 
acknowledged by some of the most famous professors of 
Christianity in all ages ; who being truly upright-hearted, 
and earnest seekers of the Lord, the true seed in them 
hath been answered by God's love, who hath had regard 
to the good ; and hath had of his elect ones amongst all, 
who finding a distaste and disgust in all other outward 
means, even in the very principles and precepts more par- 
ticularly relative to their own forms and societies, have at 
last concluded, with one voice, that there was no true 
knowledge of God, but that which is revealed inwardly by 
his own Spirit. 

This was the very basis, and main foundation, upon 
which the primitive reformers built*. 

§. III. If we make a right definition of a Christian, ac- 
cording to the Scripture, That he is one who hath the 
Spirit, and is led by it, how many Christians, yea, and of 
these, great masters and doctors of Christianity so ac- 
counted, shall we justly divest of that noble title? 

If those therefore who have all the other means of 
knowledge, and are sufficiently learned therein, whether it 
be the letter of the Scripture, the tradition of churches, or 
the works of Providence, whence they are able to deduce 
strong and undeniable arguments, are not yet to be esteem- 
ed Christians, according to the infallible definition above 

• See Luther, torn. 5, p. ^6; and Melaiicthou on John, ch. C. 


mentioned ; and if the inward and immediate revelation 
of God's spirit in the heart, in such as have heen altoge- 
ther ignorant of some, and but very little skilled in others, 
of these means of attaining knowledge, hath brought them 
to salvation; then it will necessarily follow, that inward and 
immediate revelation is the only certain way to attain the 
true and saving knowledge of God. 

Now as this argument doth very strongly conclude for 
this way of knowledge, and against such as deny it; so in 
this respect it is the more to be regarded, as the propo- 
sitions fi'om which it is deduced are so clear, that our 
opponents* cannot deny it. 

§ IV. I would however not be understood, as if hereby 
I excluded those other means of knowledge from any 
use or service to man : it is far from me so to. judge, 
as concerning the Scriptures. The question is not, what 
may be profitable or helpful, but what is absolutely ne- 

The sum then of what is said amounts to this, That 
where the true inward knowledge of God is, through the 
revelation of his Spirit, there is all ; neither is there an ab- 
solute necessity of any other. But where the best, and 
most profound knowledge is without this, there is nothing, 
as to the obtaining the great end of salvation. This truth 
is very effectually confirmed by the first part of the pro- 
position itself, which in few words comprchendeth divers 
unquestionable arguments. 

First, That there is no knowledge of the Father but 
by the Son. 

- • Adversarii, in the Latin, is an inoffensive term, meaning those ^^■ho 
sit opposite in the forms of disputation : not so the ■n^ord adversaries in the 
English, in which it implies something offensive and hostile. The word 
opponents is therefore deemed more apposite to the intention of the 
author.— Edit. 



Secondly, That there is no knowledge of the Son but 

by the Spirit. 
Thirdly, That by the Spirit God hath always revealed 

himself to his children. 
Fourthly, That these revelations were the formal* 

object of the saints' faith. 
And Lastly, That the same continueth to be the 
object of the saints' faith to this day. 
Of each of these I shall speak a little particularly, and 
then proceed to the latter part. 

§. V. As to the first, viz. That there is no knowledge 
of the Father but by the Son, it will easily be proved, being 
founded upon the plain words of Scripture, and is there- 
fore a fit ground firom whence to deduce the rest of our 

For the infinite and most wise God, who is the foundation, 
root, and spring of all operation, hath wrought all things 
by his eternal Word and Son. " This is that Word that 
was in the beginning with God, and was God, by whom all 
things were made, and without whom was not any thing 
made that was made." This is that " Jesus Christ, by 
whom God created all things, by whom, and for whom, all 
things were created, that are in heaven and in earth, visible 
and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or 

* " Formal object," or, the essential ground of faith. An explanation 
of the scholastic term, formal^ in the sense here used, would lead into too 
wide a digression. A reader desirous of exact information on the sub- 
ject may, as to the phrase formal oljccf, consult Barclay himself, by re- 
ferring to pp. 742 and 896 of his works, edit. 1692 ; and as to the particu- 
lar term formal, which occurs not only here, but in other parts of the 
present abridgment, he may meet with a copious illustration in the 
writings of the late James Harris of Salisbury. In this place, the 
meaning of the author will be perhaps sufficiently obvious to readers in 
general, by the suggested substitution of essential ground for formal 
o^/cc/. J. E. 


principalities, or powers," Col. i. 16. who therefore is called 
"The first born of every creature," Col. i. 15. As then 
that infinite and incomprehensible fountain of life and 
motion operateth in the creatures by his own eternal word 
and power, so no creature has access again unto him but 
in and by the Son, according to his own express words, 
*' No man knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to 
whom the Son will reveal him," Mat. xi. 27. Luke x. 22. 
And again, he hunself saith, " I am the way, the truth, 
and the life : no man cometh unto the Father but by me," 
John xiv. 6. 

Hence he is fitly called, " The mediator betwixt God 
and man:" for having been with God from all eternity, 
being himself God, and also in time partaking of the nature 
of man, through him is the goodness and love of God con- 
veyed to mankind, and by him again man receiveth and 
partaketh of these mercies. 

§. VI. Having then laid down this first principle, I come 
to the second, viz. That there is no knowledge of the Son 
but by the Spirit ; or. That the revelation of the Son of 
God is by the Spirit. 

Where it is to be noted, that I always speak of the 
saving, certain, and necessary knowledge of God ; which 
that it cannot be acquired otherwise than by the Spirit, 
doth also appear from many clear Scriptures. For Jesus 
Christ, in and by whom the Father is revealed, doth also 
reveal himself to his disciples in and by his Spnit. As his 
manifestation was outward, when he testified and witnessed 
for the truth in this world, and approved himself faithful 
throughout, so being now withdrawn, as to the outward 
man, he doth instruct mankind inwardly by his own spirit; 
He standeth at the door and knocketh, and whoso hear- 
eth his voice and openeth, he comes in to such, Rev. 
iii. 20. Of this revelation of Christ in him Paul speaketh, 


Gal. i. 16. in which he placeth the excellency of his minis- 
try, and the certainty of his calling. And the promise of 
Christ to his disciples, "Lo, I am with you to the end of 
the world," confirmeth the same thing; for this is an in- 
ward and spiritual presence, as all acknowledge. I shall 
deduce the proof of this proposition from two manifest 
places of Scripture: the first is, 1 Cor. ii. 11, 12. " What 
man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man 
which is in him. Even so the things of God knoweth no 
man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not 
the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that 
we might know the things which are freely given us of 
God." The apostle, in the verses before, speaking of the 
wonderful things which are prepared for the saints, after 
he hath declared that "the natural man cannot reach 
them," adds, that "they are revealed by the Spirit of 
God," ver. 9, 10. giving this reason, " For the Spirit 
searcheth all things, even the deep things of God." And 
then he bringeth in the comparison, in the verses above- 
mentioned, very apt, and answerable to our purpose and 
doctrine, that as the things of a man are only known by 
the spirit of man, so the things of God are only known by 
the Spirit of God ; that is, that as nothing below the spirit 
of man (that is of brutes, or any other creatures) can pro- 
perly comprehend the things of a man, as being of a nobler 
and higher nature; so neither can the spirit of man, or the 
natural man, receive or discern the things of God, or the 
things that are spiritual, as being also of a higher na- 
ture ; which the apostle himself gives for the reason, saying, 
" Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually 

The other Scripture is also a saying of the same apostle, 
1 Cor. xii. 3. " No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, 
but by the Holy Ghost." This Scripture, which is full of 


tiulh, and answereth full well to the enlightened under- 
standing of the spiritual and real Christian, may perhaps 
prove very strange to those carnal persons, by whom it 
hath not been so diligently remarked. Here the apostle 
doth so much require the Holy Spirit in the things that 
relate to a Christian, that he positively avers, we cannot so 
much as affirm Jesus to be the Lord without it ; which in- 
sinuates no less, than that the spiritual truths of the gos- 
pel are as lies in the mouths of carnal men ; for though in 
themselves they be true, yet are they not true as to them, 
because not known, nor uttered forth in and by that prin- 
ciple and spu'it that ought to direct the mind ; neither can 
it be more truly and propetly called a real knowledge of 
God and Christ, than the actions of Alexander the Great, 
and Julius Cassar, ike. if now transacted upon a stage, 
might be called truly and really their doings, or the per- 
sons representing them might be said truly and really to 
have conquered Asia, overcome Pompey, &c. 

This knowledge then of Christ, which is not by the 
revelation of his own Spirit in the heart, is no more pro- 
perly the knowledge of Christ, than the prating of a parrot 
may be said to be the voice of a man. Wherefore from 
this Scripture I shall further add this argument : 

If no man can say Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy 
Ghost ; then no man can know Jesus to be the Lord, but 
by the Holy Ghost. 

From this argument another may be deduced, concluding 
in the very terms of this assertion : thus, 

If no man can know Jesus to be the Lord, but by the 
Holy Ghost, then there can be no certain knowledge or 
revelation of him but by the Spirit. 

§. VII. The third thing affirmed is, That by the Spirit 
God always revealed himself to his children. 

For making the truth of this assertion appear, it will be 


but needful to consider God's manifesting himself towards 
and in relation to his creatures from the beginning, which 
resolves itself always herein. The first step of all is 
ascribed hereunto by Moses, Gen. i. 2. " And the Spirit 
of God moved upon the face of the waters." I think it 
will not be denied, that God's converse with man, from 
Adam to Moses, was by the immediate manifestation of his 
Spirit: and afterwards, through the whole tract of the law, 
he spake to his children no otherways ; which, as it natu- 
rally followeth from the principles above proved, so it can- 
not be denied by such as acknowledge the Scriptures of 
Truth to have been written by the inspiration of the Holy 
Ghost ; for these writings, from Moses to Malachi, do de- 
clare, that during all that time God revealed himself to his 
children by his Spirit. 

But if any will object, that after the dispensation of the 
law, God's method of speaking was altered ; 

I answer : First, That God spake always immediately to 
the Jews, in that he spake always immediately to the 
High Priest from betwixt the Cherubim; who, when he 
entered into the Holy of Holies, returning, did relate to 
the whole people the voice and will of God, there immedi- 
ately revealed. 

Secondly, from this immediate fellowship were none 
shut out, who earnestly sought after and waited for it; in 
that many, besides the High Priest, who were not so much 
as of the kindred of Levi, nor of the prophets, did receive 
it and speak from it ; as it is written, Numb. xi. 25. where 
the Spirit is said to have rested upon the seventy elders ; 
which Spirit also reached unto two that were not in the 
tabernacle, but in the camp; whom when some would have 
forbidden, Moses would not, but rejoiced, wishing that 
all the Lord's people were prophets, and that he would put 
his Spirit upon them, ver. 29. 


This is also confirmed, Neh. ix. where the elders of the 
people, after their return from captivity, when they began 
to sanctify themselves by fasting and prayer, numbering 
up the many mercies of God towards their fathers, say, 
ver. 20. " Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct 
them ;" and ver. 30. " Yet many years didst thou forbear, 
and testify against them by thy Spirit in thy prophets." 
Many are the sayings of spiritual David to this pui-pose ; as, 
Psalm H. 11, 12. "Take not thy holy Spirit from me; 
uphold me with thy free Spirit." Psalm cxxxix. 7. 
"Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?" Hereunto doth 
the prophet Isaiah ascribe the credit of his testimony, say- 
ing, chap, xlviii. 16. " And now the Lord God and his 
Spirit hath sent me." And that God revealed himself to his 
children under the New Testament, to wit, to the apostles, 
evangelists, and primitive disciples, is confessed by all. 
How far now this yet continueth, and is to be expected, 
comes hereafter to be spoken to. 

§. VIII. The fourth thing affirmed is. That these reve- 
lations were the object of the saints' faith of old. 

This will easily appear by the definition of faith, and 
considering what its object is: for which we shall not dive 
into the various notions of the school-men, but stay in the 
plain and positive words of the apostle Paul, who, Heb. xi. 
describes it two ways. " Faith (saith he) is the substance 
of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen :" 
which is no other but a firm and certain behef of the 
mind, whereby it resteth, and in a sense possesseth the 
substance of some things hoped for, through its confidence 
in the promise of God : and thus the soul hath a most firm 
evidence, by its faith, of things not yet seen nor come to 
pass. The object of this faith is the word, or testimony of 
God, speaking in the mind. Hence it hath been generally 


affirmed, that the object of faith is, God speaking*, &c. 
which is also manifest from all those examples deduced by 
the apostle throughout that whole chapter, whose faith 
was founded neither upon any outward testimony, nor 
upon the voice or writing of man, but upon the revelation 
of God's will, manifest unto them, and in them ; as in the 
example of Noah, verse 7, thus, " By faith Noah, being 
warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, 
prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which 
he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteous- 
ness which is by faith." What was here the object of 
Noah's faith, but God speaking unto huu? He had 
not the writings nor prophesyings of any going before, 
nor yet the concurrence of any church or people to 
strengthen him ; and yet his faith in the word, by which 
he contradicted the whole world, saved him and his house. 
Of which also Abraham is set forth as a singular example, 
being therefore called the Father of the Faithful, who is 
said against hope to have believed in hope, in that he not 
only wilUngly forsook his father's country, not knowing 
whither he went; in that he behoved concerning the com- 
ing of Isaac, though contrary to natural probabiUty ; but 
above all, in that he refused not to offer him up, not doubt- 
ing but God was able to raise him from the dead; of whom 
it is said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And last 
of all, in that he rested in the promise, that his seed should 
possess the land, wherein he himself was but a pilgrim, 
and which to them was not to be fulfilled until divers ages 
after. The object of Abraham's faith in all this was no 
other but inward and immediate revelation, or God signi- 
fying his will unto him inwardly and immediately by his 

* Deus loqiiens. 


But because, in this part of the proposition, we made 
also mention of external voices, appearances, and dreams 
in the alternative, I think also fit to speak hereof, what in 
that respect may be objected; to wit, 

That those who found tlieir fiiith now upon immediate 
and objective revelation, ought to have also outward voices 
or visions, dreams or appearances for it. 

It is not denied, but God made use of the ministry of 
angels, who, in the appearance of men, spake outwardly to 
the saints of old, and that he did also reveal some things 
to them in dreams and visions; none of which we will 
affirm to be ceased, so us to Umit the power of God in ma- 
nifesting himself towards his childi'en. But while we are 
considering the object of faith, we must not stick to that 
which is but circumstantially and accidentally so, but to 
that which is universally and substantially so. 

Next again, we must distinguish betwixt that which in 
itself is subject to doubt, and therefore is received for and 
because of another ; and that which is not subject to any 
doubt, but is received simply for and because of itself, as 
being the very first and original truth*. Let us then con- 
sider how far these outward voices, appearances, and 
dreams were the object of the saints' faith : was it because 
they were simply voices, appearances, or dreams ? Nay, 
certainly; God forbid that the saints' faith should be 
founded upon so fallacious a foundation as man's outward 
and fallible senses. What made them then give credit to 
these visions? Certainly nothing else but the secret testi- 
mony of God's Spirit in their hearts, assuring them that 
the voices, dreams, and visions were of and from God. 
Abraham believed the angels; but who told him that these 
men were angels ? We must not think his faith then was 

• Prima Veritas. 


built upon his outward senses, but proceeded from the 
secret persuasion of God's Spirit in his heart. This then 
must needs be acknowledged to be originally and princi- 
pally the object of the saints' faith, without which there is 
no true and certain faith, and by which many times faith is 
begotten and strengthened without any of these outward 
or visible helps; as we may observe in many passages 
of the Holy Scripture, where it is only mentioned, And 
God said, &c. And the word of the Lord came unto 
such and such, saying, &c. 

But if any one should affirm. That this did import an 
outward audible voice to the carnal ear; 

I would gladly know what other argument such a one 
could bring for this his affirmation, saving his own simple 
conjecture. It is said indeed, " The Spirit witnesseth with 
our spirit;" but not to our outward ears, Rom. viii. 16. 
And seeing the Spirit of God is within us, and not without 
us only, it speaks to our spiritual, and not to our bodily 
ear. Therefore I see no reason, where it is so often said 
in Scripture, The Spirit said, moved, hindered, called 
such or such a one, to do or forbear such or such a thing, 
that any have to conclude, that this was not an inward 
voice to the ear of the soul, rather than an outward voice 
to the bodily ear. 

The inward and immediate revelation of God's Spirit, 
speaking in and unto the saints, was by them believed as 
the ground and foundation of their hope in God, and life 

§. IX. That which now cometh under debate, is what 
we asserted in the last place, to wit. That the same conti- 
nueth to be the object of the saints' faith unto this day. 
Many will agree to what we have said before, who differ 
from us herein. 

There is nevertheless a very firm argument, confirming 


tlie truth of tliis assertion, includocl in the proposition 
itself, to wit, That the object of the saints' faith is the 
same in all ages, though held forth under divers admi- 

For where the faith is one, the object of the faith is 

That the faith is one, is the express words of the 
apostle, Eph. iv. 5. who placeth the one faith with the one 
(iod; importing no less, than that to affirm two faiths is as 
absurd as to affirm two gods. 

jNIoreover, if the faith of the ancients were not one and 
the same with ours, i. e. agreeing in substance therewith, 
and receiving the same definition, it had been impertinent 
for the apostle, Heb xi. to have illustrated the definition 
©four faith by the examples of that of the ancients, or to 
go about to move us by the example of Abraham, if 
Abraham's faith were different in nature from ours. Nor 
doth any difference arise hence, because they believed in 
Christ with respect to his appearance outwardly as future, 
and we as having already appeared : for neither did they 
then so befieve in him to come, as not to feel him present 
with them, and witness him near; seeing the apostle saith. 
They all drank of that spiritual rock which followed them, 
which rock was Christ. Nor do we so believe concerning 
his appearance past, as not also to feel and know him 
present with us, and to feed upon him. Except Christ 
(saith the apostle) be in you, ye are reprobates ; so that 
of both our faith is one, terminating in one and the same 
thing. And as to the other part or consequence of the 
antecedent, to wit. That the object is one where the faith 
is one, the apostle also proveth it in the fore-cited chapter, 
where he makes all the worthies of old examples to us. 
Now wherein are they imitable, but because they believed 
in God? And what was the object of their faith, but 



inward and iininediate revelation, as we have before 
proved ? Their example can be no ways applicable to us, 
except be believe in God, as they did ; that is, by the same 
object. The apostle clears this yet further by his own ex- 
ample, Gal. i. IG. where he saith. So soon as Christ was 
revealed in him, he consulted not with flesh and blood, but 
forthwith believed and obeyed. The same apostle, Heb. 
xiii. 7, 8, Avhere he exhorteth the Hebrews to follow the 
faith of the elders, adds this reason, *' Considering the end 
of their conversation; Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to- 
day, and for ever :" Hereby insinuating, that in the object 
there is no alteration. 

If any now object the diversity of administration ; 

I answer; That altereth not at all the object: for the 
same apostle mentioning this diversity three times, 1 Cor. 
xii. 4, 5, G. centereth always in the same object j the same 
Spirit, the same Lord, the same God. 

But further; If the object of faith were not one and the 
same both to us and to them, then it would follow that we 
were to know God some other way than by the Spirit, 
which Avere absurd. 

Such as deny this proposition now-a-days use here a 
distinction; granting that God is to be known by his 
Spirit, but again denying that it is immediate or inward, 
but in and by the Scriptures; in which the mind of tlie 
Spirit (as they say) being fully expressed, we are thereby 
to know God, and be led in all things. 

As to the negative of this assertion, that the Scriptures 
are not sufficient, neither were ever appointed to be the 
adcvpiate and only ride, nor yet can guide or direct a 
Christian in all those things that are needful for him to 
know, we shall leave that to the next proposition to be ex- 
amined. What is proper in this place to be proved is, 
That Christians now are to be led inwardly and immedi- 


ately by the Spirit of God, even in the same manner 
(cliough it befal not many to be led in the same measure) 
as the saints were of old. 

§. X. I shall prove this by divers arguments, and first 
from the promise of Christ in these words, John xiv. IG. 
** And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another 
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." ^'er. 17. 
" Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot re- 
ceive, it seetli him not, neither knoweth him; but 
}'e know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in 
you." Again, ver. 26. " But the Comforter, w'hich is the 
Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he 
shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your 
remembrance." And xvi. 13. " But when the Spirit of 
truth shall come, he shall lead you into all truth : for he 
shall not speak of himself ; but whatsoever he shall hear 
he shall speak, and shall declare unto you things to come." 
We have here first, who this is, and that is divers ways 
expressed; to wit, The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, the 
Holy Ghost, the sent of the Father in the name of Christ. 
And hereby is sufficiently proved the folly of those 
Socinians, and other carnal Christians, who neither know 
nor acknowledge any internal Spirit or power but that 
which is merely natural; by w^hich they sufficiently declare 
themselves to be of the world, who cannot receive the 
Spirit, because they neither see him nor know him. 
Secondly, Where this Spirit is to be. He that dwelleth with 
you, and shall be in you. And Thirdly, What his work 
is. He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to 
your remembrance, and guide you into all truth*. 

As to the First, Most do acknowledge that there is 
nothing else understood than what the plain words signify : 


which is also evident by many other places of Scripture"; 
neither do I see how such as affirm otherwise can avoid 
blasphemy : for, if the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, and 
Spirit of truth, be all one with the Scriptures, then it 
will follow that the Scriptures are God, seeing it is 
true that the Holy Ghost is God. If these men's reason- 
ing might take place, wherever the Spirit is mentioned 
in relation to the saints, thereby might be truly and pro- 
perly understood the Scriptures ; which, what a nonsensical 
monster it would make of the Christian religion, will easily 
appear to all men. 

Secondly, That this Spirit is inward, needs no interpre- 
tation or commentary. He dwelleth with you, and shall 
be in you. This indwelling of the Spirit in the saints, as 
it is a thing most needful to be known and believed, so is 
it as positively asserted in the Scripture as any thing else 
can be. " If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you," 
saith the apostle to the Romans, chap. viii. 9. And again, 
" Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy 
Ghost," 1 Cor. vi. 19. " And that the Spirit of God dwell- 
eth in you?" 1 Cor. iii. 16. Without this the apostle reck- 
oneth no man a Christian. If any man (saith he) have not 
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. These words im- 
mediately follow those above-mentioned out of the epistle 
to the Romans, " But ye are not in the flesh, but in the 
Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you." The con- 
text of which sheweth, that the apostle reckoneth it the 
main token of a Christian, both positively and negatively : 
for in the former verses he sheweth how the carnal mind 
is enmity against God, and that such as are in the flesh 
cannot please him. Where subsuming, he adds concern- 
ing the Romans, that they are not in the flesh, if the 
Spirit of God dwell in them. What is this but to aflirm, 
that they in whom the Spirit dwells are no longer in the 


llesh, nor of those who please not God, but are become 
Christians indeed? Again, in the next verse he conchides 
negatively, that, If any man have not the Spirit of Christ 
he is none of his ; that is, he is no Christian. He then 
tliat acknowledges liimself ignorant and a stranger to the 
inward in-being of the Spirit of Christ in his heart, doth 
thereby acknowledge himself to be yet in tlie carnal mind, 
which is enmity to God ; to be yet in the fiesh, where 
God cannot be pleased; and in short, whatever he may 
otherwise know or believe of Christ, or however much 
skilled or acquainted with the letter of the Holy Scripture, 
not yet to have attained to the least degree of a Christian ; 
yea, not once to have embraced the Christian religion. 
For take but away the Spirit, and Christianity remains no 
more Christianity, than the dead carcass of a man, when 
the soul and spirit is departed, remains a man. Lastly, 
Whatsoever is excellent, whatsoever is noble, whatsoever 
is worthy, whatsoever is desirable in the Christian faith, is 
ascribed to this Spirit, without which it could no more 
subsist than the outward world without the sun. Here- 
unto have all true Christians, in all ages, attributed their 
strength and life*. If therefore it be so, why should any 
be so foolish as to deny, or so unwise as not to seek after, 
this Spirit, which Christ hath promised shall dwell in his 
children ? They then that do suppose the indwelling and 
leading of his Spirit to be ceased, must also suppose 
Christianity to be ceased, which cannot subsist with- 
out it. 

Thu'dly, What the work of this Spirit is, is partly 
before shewn, which Christ compriseth in two or three 
things, He will guide you into all truth; He wdll teach 
you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, 

» Calvin's lusliUilion*;, Book 3. Ch. 2. 

22 PKOrostTlON II. 

Since Christ liatli provided for us so good an instructor, 
■why need we then lean so much to those traditions and 
commandments of men wherewith so many Christians have 
burdened themselves ? 

From all then that hath heen mentioned concerning this 
promise, and these words of Christ, it will follow, that 
Christians are always to be led inwardly and inunediately 
by the Spirit of God dwelling in them, and that the same 
is a perpetual ordinance, as well to the church in general 
in all ages, as to every individual member in particular, as 
appears from this argument : 

Christ hath promised that the Comforter, the Holy 
Ghost, the Spirit of truth, shall abide with his children for 
ever, shall dwell with them, shall be in them, shall lead 
them into all truth, shall teach them all things, and bring 
all things to their remembrance : 

And the promises of Christ to his children are Yea 
and Amen, and cannot fail, but nnist of necessity be 

Every true Christian is in measure redeemed from the 
carnal mind, is gathered out of the enmity, and can be 
subject to tlie law of God; is out of tlie flcsli, and in the 
Spirit, the Spirit of God dwelling in him. 

Again : Whosoever hath not the Spirit of Christ, is 
none of his ; that is, no child, no friend, no disciple of 

Every true Christian is the temple of the Holy 

And to conclude: He in whom the Spirit of God 
dwelleth, it is not in him a lazy, useless thing; but it 
moveth, governeth, and teacheth him all things what- 
soever are needful for hhu to knoAv, (as to salvation.) 

§ XT. But there are some that will confess, That the 
Spirit doth now lead and inlluence the saints, but that he 


dotli it only subjectively*, or in u blind manner, by en- 
lightening their understiindings, to understand and belie\ e 
the truth delivered in the Scriptures ; but not at all by 
presenting those truths to the mind by way of object, and 
this they consider as that of whose working a man is not 
sensible ■{•. 

This opinion, though somewhat more tolerable than the 
former, is nevertheless not altogether according to truth, 
neither doth it reach the fulness of it. 

1. Because there be many truths, which, as they are 
applicable to particulars and individuals, and most needful 
to be known by them, are in no-wise to be found in tlie 

For that which teacheth me all things, and is given me 
for that end, without doubt presents those things to my 
mind which it teacheth me. It is not said, It shall teach 
you how to understand those things that are written; but, 
It shall teach you all things. Again, That which brings 
all tilings to my remembrance, must needs present them 
by May of object; else it were improper to say, It brought 
them to my remembrance; but only, tiiat it heipeth to re- 
member the objects brought from elsewhere. . 

My second argument sliall be drawn from the nature of 
the new covenant; by Vvhich, and those that follow, I shall 
prove that we are led by the Spirit both immediately and 

" By an author who was probably cotemporary with Barcla}-, (Barron 
of Aberdeen, cited by Keith in his " Imnaediate Revelation not ceased," 
p. 134,) subjective and ohjccihu: revelation are attempted to be explained 
by the following simile : Suhjcctlvc revelation is compared to the remov- 
ing of a veil or cover from the eye; that is, from the subject or faculty 
that perceives, [or rather, organ of perception:] objective, to the remov- 
ing of a veil or cover from any particular ohject. This is here adduced, 
as shewing the origin of the tenns ; which, it may be added, have now 
almost, if not entirely, fallen into disuse. J. E. 

"I- Medium imognilum asscntiendi. 

St pRorosiTiox II. 

objectively. The nature of the new covenant is expressed 
in divers places; and 

First, Isa. lix. 21. "As for me, this is my covenant with 
them, saith the Lord; my Spirit that is upon thee, and 
my words which I have put into thy mouth, shall not de- 
part out of thy moutli, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, 
nor out of tlie mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, 
from henceforth and for ever." By the latter part of this 
is sufficiently expressed the perpetuity of this promise. In 
the former part is the promise itself, which is the Spirit of 
God being upon them, and the words of God being put 
into their mouths. 

First, This was immediate, for there is no mention made 
of any medium ; he saith not, I shall by the means of such 
and such writings or books, convey such and such words 
into your mouths; but, My words I, even I, saith the 
Lord, have put into your mouths. 

Secondly, This nuist be objectively; for [the words put 
into the mouth] are the object presented by him. He 
saith not. The words which ye shall see written, my 
Spirit shall only enlighten your understandings to assent 
unto; but positively, My words, which I have put into 
thy mouth, See. 

Secondly, The nature of the new covenant is yet more 
amply expressed, Jer. xxxi. 33, which is reasserted by the 
apostle, Ileb. viii. 10, 11, in these words: "For this is the 
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel ; after 
those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their 
mind, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them 
a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall 
not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his 
brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know 
me, from the least to the greatest." 

The object here is God's law written hi the heart, and 


]>lacecl in the mind; from whence tliey become God's 
people, and are brought truly to know him. 

In this then is the law distinguished from the gospel ; 
tlie law before w'as outward, written in tables of stone, 
but now is inward, written in the heart : of old the people 
depended upon their priests for the knowledge of God, 
but now they have all a certain and sensible knowledge of 

How much t|ien are they deceived, who, instead of 
making the gospel preferable to the law, have made the 
condition of such as are under the gospel far worse. For 
no doubt it is a far better and more desirable thing to 
converse w^ith God immediately, than only mediately, as 
being a higher and more glorious dispensation: and yet 
these men acknowledge that many under the law had im- 
mediate converse with God, whereas they now cry it is 

Again : Under the law there was the holy of holies, into 
which the high priest did enter, and received the word of 
the Lord immediately from betwixt the cherubim, so that 
the people could then certainly know the mind of the 
Lord ; but now, according to these men's judgment, we 
are in a far worse condition, having nothing but the out- 
w-ard letter of the Scripture. But Jesus Christ hath pro- 
mised us better things, though many are so unwise as not 
to believe him, even to guide us by his own unerring- 
Spirit, and hath rent and removed the veil, whereby not 
only one, and that once a year, may enter; but all of us, 
at all times, have access unto him, as often as we draw 
near unto him with pure hearts : he reveals his will to us by 
his Spirit, and writes his laws in our hearts. 

§. XU. The third argument is from these words of 
John, 1 John ii. ver. 27. " But the anointing, which ye 
have received of liim, abideth in you, and ye need not that 

2G rnorosiTiON ii. 

any man teach you: but the same anointing teachcth you 
of all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it hath 
taught you, ye shall abide in him." 

First, This could not be any special, or extraordinary 
privilege, but that which is common to all the saints, it 
being a general epistle, directed to all them of that age. 

Secondly, The apostle proposeth this anointing in them, 
as a more certain touch-stone for them to discern and try 
seducers l^y, even than his ovi^n writings ; for having in the 
former verse said, that he had written some things fo 
them concerning such as seduced them, he begins the next 
verse, But the anointing, &c. and ye need not that any 
man teach you, Sec. which infers, that having said to them 
what can be said, he refers them to the inward anointing, 
which teacheth all things, as the most certain bulwark 
against all seducers. 

§. XIII. The most usual objection to the second part of 
the proposition is, that these revelations are uncertain. 

But this bespeaketh much ignorance in the opposers; 
for we distinguish between the thesis and the hypothesis; 
that is, between the proposition and the supposition. For 
it is one thing to affirm, that the true and undoubted reve- 
lation of God's Spirit is certain and infallible ; and another 
thing to affirm, that this or that particular person or 
people is led infallibly by this revelation in what they 
speak or write, because they affirm themselves to be so 
led by the inward and immediate revelation of the Spirit. 
The first only is asserted by us, the latter may be called 
in question. The question is not who are or are not so 
led ? But whether all ought not or may not be so led ? 

Seeinj'- then we have already proved that Christ hath 
promised his Spirit to lead his children, and that every one 
of them both ought and may be led by it, if any depart 
iVom this certain guide in deeds, and yet in words pretend 


(o be led by it into tilings tliat are not good, it will not 
from thence follow, that the true guidance of the Spirit is 
uncertain, or ought not to he followed ; no more than it 
will follow that the sun sheweth not light, because a blind 
man, or one who wilfully shuts his eyes, falls into a ditcli 
at noon-day for want of light; the fault then is in tlie 
organ, and not in the object. 

All these mistakes therefore arc to be ascribed to 
the weakness or wickedness of men, and not to that Holy 

Therefore, if any reason after this manner, 
(That because some Avicked, ungodly men have com- 
mitted wicked actions, and have yet more ^vickedly as- 
serted, that they M-ere led into these things by the Spirit 
of God; 

Therefore, No man ought to lean to the Spirit of God, 
or seek to be led by it,) 

I utterly deny the consequence of this proposition, which, 
were it to be received as true, then would all faith in God 
and hope of salvation become uncertain, and the Christian 
religion be turned into mere Scepticism. 

§. XV. And because the Spirit of God is the fountain 
of all truth and sound reason, therefore we have well said. 
That it cannot contradict either the testimony of the 
Scripture, or right reason : "Yet it will not from thence 
follow, that these divine revelations are to be subjected to 
the examination either of the outward testimony of Scrip- 
ture, or of the natural reason of man, as to a more certain 
rule ; for the divine revelation, and inward illumination, is 
that which is evident by itself, forcing the well-disposed 
undei'standing, and irresistibly moving it, to assent by its 
own evidence, even as the common principles of natural 
truths do bend the mind to a natural assent." 

lie that denies this ])arL of the proposition must needs 


affirm, that the Spirit of God neither can, nor ever hath 
manifested itself to man without the Scripture, or a distinct 
discussion of reason ; or that the efficacy of this superna- 
tural principle, working upon the souls of men, is less evi- 
dent than natural principles in their common operations ; 
both which are false. 

For, First, Through all the Scriptures we may observe, 
that the manifestation and revelation of God by his Spirit 
to the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, was immediate 
and objective ; which they did not examine by any other 
principle, but received from their own evidence and 

Secondly, To say that the Spirit of God has less evi- 
dence upon the mind of man than natural principles have, 
is to have too mean and too low thoughts of it. How 
comes David to invite us to taste and see that God is good, 
if this cannot be felt and tasted ? This were enough to 
overturn the faith and assurance of all the saints, both 
now and of old. How came Paul to be persuaded, that 
nothing could separate him from the love of God, but by 
that evidence which the Spirit of God gave him ? The 
apostle John, who knew well wherein the certainty of faith 
consisted, judged it no ways absurd, without further argu- 
ment, to ascribe his knowledge and assurance, and that of 
all the saints, hereunto in these words, " Hereby know we 
that we dwell in him, and he in us, l^ecause he hath given 
us of his Spirit," 1 John, iv. 13. And again, chap. v. ver. 6. 
It is '* the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is 

Observe the reason brought by him. Because the Spirit 
is truth. We then confide in this Spirit, because we 
know, and certainly believe, that it can only lead us 
aright, and never mislead us; and from this certain con- 
fidence it is that we affirm, that no revelation coming 


tVom it can ever contradict the Scripture's testimony nor 
right reason. 

That for and because of which all other foundations are 
recommended, and accoimted worthy to be believed, and 
without which they are granted to be of no weight at all, 
must needs be the only most true, certain, and unmoveable 
foundation of all Christian faith. 

The proposition is so evident, that it will not be denied; 
the assumption shall be proved by parts. 

And First, as to the Papists, they place their founda- 
tion in the judgment of the church and tradition. If we 
press them to say, Why they believe as the church doth? 
Their answer is, " Because the church is always led by the 
infallible Spirit." So here the leading of the Spirit is the 
utmost foundation. Again, if we ask them, Why we 
ought to trust tradition? They answer, "Because these 
traditions were dehvered us by the doctors and fathers 
of the church ; which doctors and fathers, by the revela- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, commanded the church to observe 
them." Here again all ends in the revelation of the 

And for the Protestants and Socinians, both which 
acknowledge the Scriptures to be the foundation and rule 
of their faith; the one as subjectively influenced by the 
Spirit of God to use them, the other as managing them 
with and by their own reason; ask both or either of them. 
Why they trust in the Scriptures, and take them to be 
their rule? Their answer is, "Because we have in them 
the mind of God delivered unto us by those to whom 
these things were inwardly, immediately, and objectively 
revealed by the Spirit of God;" and not because this or 
that man wrote them, but because the Spirit of God dic- 
tated them. 

It is strange then that men should render that so uncer- 


tain and dangerous to follow, upon which alone tlie foun- 
dation of their own faith is built ; or that they should shut 
themselves out from that holy fellowship M'ith God, which 
only is enjoyed in the Spirit, in which we are commanded 
both to walk and live. 


Co7ice7ming the Ser'iptures. 

From these revelations of the Spirit of God to the saints 
have proceeded the Scriptures of Truth, which contain, 

I. A faithful historical account of the actings of God's 
people in divers ages ; with many singular and remark- 
able providences attending them. 

II. A prophetical account of several things, whereof some 
are already past, and some yet to come. 

III. A full and ample account of the chief doctrines of the 
Christian faith, held forth in divers precious declara- 
tions, exhortations, and sentences, which, by the moving 
of God's Spirit, were at several times, and upon sundry 
occasions, spoken and written unto some churches and 
their pastors. 

Nevertheless, because they are only a declaration of the 
fountain, and not the foiuitain itself, therefore they are 
not to be esteemed the principal ground of all truth and 
knowledge, nor yet the adequate primary ride of faith 
and maimers. Yet because they give a true and faith- 
ful testimony of the first foundation, they are and may 
be esteemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, 
from which they have all their excellency and certainty: 


for as by the inward testimony of the Spirit we do alone 
truly know them, so they testify, That the Spirit is that 
Guide by which the saints arc led into all Truth; there- 
fore, according to the Scriptures, the Spirit is the first 
and principal leader. Seeing then that we do therefore 
receive and believe the Scriptures because they proceed 
from the Spirit, for the very same reason is the Spirit 
more origbially and principally the rule *. 

§. 1. liiE former part of this proposition, though it needs 
no apology for itself, yet it is a good apology for us, and 
will help to sweep away that, among many other calum- 
nies, wherewith we are often loaded, as if we were vihfiers 
and deniers of the Scriptures; for in that which we affirm 
of them, it doth not appear at what high rate we value 
them, accoimting them, without all deceit or equivocation, 
the most excellent writings in the world; to which not 
only no other "\ratings are to be preferred, but even in 
divers respects not comparable thereto. For as we freely 
acknowledge that their authority doth not depend upon 
the approbation or canons of any church or assembly ; so 
neither can we subject them to the fallen, corrupt, and 
defiled reason of man : and therein as we do freely agree 
with the Protestants against the error of the Romanists, 
so on the other hand, we cannot go the length of such 
Protestants as make their authority to depend upon any 

- " The editoi" submits to the reader the following elucidation, quoted 
from a pious and an enlightened author : " The Holy Scripture is, in 
regard to truth, what John the Baptist was to Jesus. We read that 
John was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness of the Light. This 
gives us a complete idea of the relation between the Holy Scripture 
and truth, and at the same time shows the difference between them." 



virtue or power that is in the writings themselves ; but we 
ascribe all to that Spirit from which they proceeded. 

§. 11. Though then we do acknowledge the Scriptures 
to be very heavenly and divine writings, the use of them 
to be very comfortable and necessary to the church of 
Christ, and that we also give praise to the Lord, for his 
M'onderful providence in preserving these writings so pure 
and uncorrupted as we have them, through so long a 
night of apostasy, to be a testimony of his truth against 
the wickedness even of those whom he made instrumental 
in preserving them, so that they have kept them to be a 
witness against themselves ; yet we may not call them the 
principal fountain of all truth and knowledge, nor yet the 
first adequate rule of faith and manners; because the 
principal fountain of truth must be the Truth itself; i. e. 
that whose authority depends not upon another. Even so 
the writings and sayings of all men we must bring to the 
Word of God, I mean the Eternal Word, and if they 
agree hereunto we stand there. For this Word always 
proceedeth, and doth eternally proceed from God, in and 
by which the unsearchable counsel and will of God is 
made known unto us. 

Since the Scriptures' authority and certainty depend 
upon the Spirit by which they were dictated ; and the 
reason why they were received as truth, is because they 
proceeded from the Spirit, they are not the principal 
p-round of truth. 

The Scriptures are not, nor can be, the rule of that 
faith by which I believe them. 

Consequently, they are not the primary adequate rule 
of faith and manners. 

As to what is affirmed, that the Spirit, and not the 
Scriptures, is the rule, it is largely iKuulled in the former 


proposition ; the sum whereof I shall subsume in one argu- 
ment, thus, 

If by the Spirit we can only come to the true knowledge 
of God ; if by the Spirit we are to be led into all truth, 
and so be taught of all things ; then the Spirit, and not 
the Scriptures, is the foundation of all truth and knowledge, 
and the primary rule of faith and manners : 

Next, the very nature of the gospel itself declareth 
that the Scriptures cannot be the only and chief rule of 
Christians; else there should be no difference betwixt the 
law and the gospel ; as, from the nature of the new cove- 
nant, by divers Scriptures described in the former propo- 
sition, is proved. 

But besides these which are before mentioned, herein 
do the law and the gospel differ, in that the law, being 
outM'^ardly written, brings under condemnation, but hath 
not life in it to save ; whereas the gospel, as it declares 
and makes manifest the evil, so, being an inward powerful 
thing, it gives power also to obey, and deliver from the 
evil. Hence it is called glad tidings *. The law or letter, 
which is without us, kills; but the gospel, which is the in- 
\vard spiritual law, gives life ; for it consists not so much 
in words as in virtue. Wherefore such as come to know 
it, and be acquainted with it, come to feel greater power 
over their iniquities, than all outward laws or rules can 
give them. Hence the apostle concludes, Rom. vi. 14. 
" Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not 
under the law, but under grace." This grace then that is 
inward, and not an outward law, is to be the rule of 
Christians. From what is above said, I argue thus : 

The principal rule of Christians under the gospel is not 
an outward letter, nor law outwardly written and delivered, 

* EvccfytXiov. 


as the Scriptures are, but an inward spiritual law, en- 
graven in the heart, the law of the Spirit of life, the word 
that is nigh in the heart and in the mouth. 

§. III. Thirdly, In that there are numberless things, 
with regard to their circumstances, which particular 
Christians may be concerned in, for which there can be 
no particular rule had in the Scriptures ; 

Therefore the Scriptures cannot be a rule to them. 

It is not to be doubted but some men are particularly 
called to some particular services ; their being not found in 
which, though the act be no general positive duty, yet in 
so far as it may be required of them, is a great sin to omit; 
forasmuch as God is jealous of his glory, and every act of 
disobedience to his will manifested, is enough not only to 
hinder one greatly from that comfort and inward peace 
which otherwise he might have, but also bringeth con- 

As for instance. Some are called to the ministry of the 
word : Paul saith, there was a necessity upon him to preach 
the gospel : " Wo unto me, if I preach not." 

If it be necessary that there be now ministers of the 
church, as well as then, then there is the same necessity 
upon some, more than upon others, to occupy this place ; 
which necessity, as it may be incumbent upon particular 
persons, the Scripture neither doth nor can declare. 

If it be said, That the qualifications of a minister are 
found in the Scripture, and by applying these qualifications 
to myself, I may know whether I be fit for such a place or 

I answer. The qualifications of a bishop, or minister, 
as they are mentioned both in the epistle to Timothy 
and Titus, are such as may be found in a private 
Christian; yea, which ought in some measure to be in 
every true Christian; so that this giveth a man no 


certainty. Every capacity to an office giveth me not a 
sufficient call to it. 

Next again. By what rule shall I judge if I be so quali- 
fied ? How do I know that I am sober, meek, holy, harm- 
less? Is it not the testimony of the Spirit in my conscience 
that must assure me hereof? And suppose that I was 
qualified and called, yet what Scripture -rule shall inform 
me. Whether it be my duty to preach in this or that place, 
in France or England, Holland or Germany? Whether I 
shall take up my time in confirming the faithful, reclaiming 
hereticks, or converting infidels, as also in writing epistles 
to this or that church ? 

The general rules of the Scripture, viz. To be diligent 
in my duty, to do all to the glory of God, and for the good 
of his church, can give me no light in this thing. Seeing 
two different things may both have a respect to that way, 
yet may I commit a great error and offence in doing the 
one, when I am called to the other. If Paul, when his 
face was turned by the Lord toward Jerusalem, had gone 
back to Achaia or Macedonia, he might have supposed he 
could have done God more acceptable service, in preach- 
ing and confirming the churches, than in being shut up in 
prison in Judea ; but would God have been pleased here- 
with? Nay, certainly. Obedience is better than sacri- 
fice; and it is not our doing that which is good simply 
that pleaseth God, but that good which he willeth us 
to do. 

The apostle sheweth this distinction well, Rom. xii. 6, 7, 8. 
" Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is 
given to us ; whether prophecy, let us prophesy according 
to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our 
ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that 
exhorteth, on exhortation." Now what scripture-rule 


sheweth me that I ought to exhort, rather than prophesy ? 
or to minister, rather than teach ? Surely none at all. 

Moreover, that which of all things is most needful for 
him to know, to wit, whether he really be in the faith, and 
an heir of salvation, or not, the Scripture can give him no 
certainty in, neither can it be a rule to him. That this 
knowledge is exceedingly desirable, all do unanimously 
acknowledge; besides that it is especially commanded, 
2 Cor. xiii. 5. " Examine yourselves whether ye be in the 
faith, prove yourselves ; know ye not your ownselves, how 
that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" 
And 2 Pet. i. 10. "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give 
all diligence to make your calhng and election sure." Now 
I say. What Scripture-rule can assure me that I have true 
faith ? That my calling and election are sure? 

If it be said. By comparing the Scripture-marks of true 
faith with mine : 

I demand. Wherewith shall I make this observation ? 
What shall ascertain me that I am not mistaken? It can- 
not be the Scripture : that is the matter under debate. 

If it be said, My own heart: 

How unfit a judge is it in its own case? And how like 
to be partial, especially if it be yet unrenewed ? Doth not 
the Scripture say, that it is deceitful above all things ? I 
find the promises, I find the threatenings, in the Scripture; 
but who telleth me that the one belongs to me more than 
the other? The Scripture gives me a mere declaration of 
these things, but makes no application. 

This is indeed so pungent, that the best of Protestants, 
who plead for this assurance, ascribe it to the inward testi- 
mony of the Spirit*. 

Moreover, the Scripture itself, wherein we are so earnest- 

* See Westminster Confession of Faith, ch. 18, §. 12. 


\y pressed to seek after this assurance, doth not at all affirm 
itself a rule sufficient to give it, but wholly ascribeth it to 
the Spirit, as Rom. viii. 16. " The Spirit itself beareth 
witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." 
1 John iv. lo, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, 
and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." And 
chap. V. 6. " And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, be- 
cause the Spirit is truth." 

§. IV. Lastly, That cannot be the only, principal, nor 
chief rule, which doth not universally reach every individual 
that needeth it to produce the necessary effect; and from 
the use of which, either by some innocent defect, or natu- 
ral yet blameless ' imperfection, many who are within the 
compass of the visible church, and may, without absurdity, 
yea, with great probability, be accounted of the elect, are 
necessarily excluded, and that either wholly, or at least 
from the immediate use thereof. But it so falls out fre- 
quently, concerning the Scriptures, in the case of deaf 
people, children, and ideots, who can by no means have 
the benefit of the Scriptures. Shall we then affirm, that 
they are without any rule Godward, or that they are all 
damned ? As such an opinion is in itself very absurd, and 
inconsistent botli with the justice and mercy of God, so I 
know no sound reason can be alleged for it. Now if we 
may suppose any such to be under the new covenant dis- 
pensation, as I know none will deny but that we may sup- 
pose it without any absurdity, we cannot suppose them 
without some rule and means of knowledge ; seeing it is 
expressly affirmed, " They shall all be taught of God," 
John vi. 45. " And they shall all know me, from the 
least to the greatest," Heb. viii. 11. But secondly. 
Though we were rid of this difficulty, how many illiterate 
and yet good men are there in the church of God, who 
cannot read a letter in their own mother tongue i These 


can have no immediate * knowledge of the rule of their 
faith; so their faith must needs depend upon the credit 
of other men's reading or relating it unto them; where 
either the altering, adding, or omitting of a little word may 
be a foundation in the poor hearer of a very dangerous 
mistake, whereby he may either continue in some iniquity 
ignorantly, or believe a lie confidently. 

Through and by the clearness which the Spirit gives us 
it is that we are only best rid of those difficulties that occur 
to us concerning the Scriptures. The real and undoubted 
experience whereof I myself have been a witness of, with 
great admiration of the love of God to his children in 
these latter days: for I have known some of my friends, 
who profess the same faith with me, faithful servants of 
the Most High God, and full of divine knowledge of his 
truth, as it was immediately and inwardly revealed to 
them by the Spirit, from a true and living experience, who 
not only were ignorant of the Greek and Hebrew, but 
even some of them could not read their own vulgar lan- 
guage, who being pressed by their adversaries with some 
citations out of the EngUsh translation, and finding them 
to disagree with the manifestation of truth in their own 
hearts, have boldly affirmed the Spirit of God never said 
so, and that it was certainly wrong ; for they did not be- 
lieve that any of the holy prophets or apostles had ever 
written so; which when I on this account seriously ex- 
amined, I really found to be errors and corruptions of the 

§. V. If it be then asked me, Whether I think 
hereby to render the Scriptures altogether uncertain, or 
useless ? 

I answer; not at all. The proposition itself declares 

• Direct. 


how much I esteem them; and provided tliat to theSph-it, 
from which they came, be but granted that place the 
Scriptures themselves give it, I do freely concede to the 
Scriptures the second place, even whatsoever they say of 
themselves, which the apostle Paul chiefly mentions in two 
places, Rom. xv. 4. " Whatsoever things were written 
aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through 
patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." 
2 Tim. iii. 15, 16, 17. "The holy Scriptures are able to 
make wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Jesus 
Christ. All Scripture given by inspiration of God, is 
profitable for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 
that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly fur- 
nished unto every good work." 

For though God doth chiefly lead us by his Spirit, yet 
he sometimes conveys his consolation to us through his 
children, whom he raises up and inspires to speak or write 
a word in season, whereby the saints are made instruments 
in the hand of the Lord to strengthen and encourage one 
another, which doth also tend to make them wise unto 
salvation ; and such as are led by the Spirit cannot neglect, 
but do naturally love, and are wonderfully cherished by, 
that which proceedeth from the same Spirit in another; 
because such mutual emanations of the heavenly life tend 
to quicken the mind, when at any time it is overtaken with 
heaviness. Peter himself declares this to have been the 
end of his writing, 2 Pet. i. 12, 13. " Wherefore I will not 
be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these 
things, though ye know them, and be estabhshed in, the 
present truth ; yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in 
this tabernacle, to stir you up, by putting you in re- 

God is teacher of his people himself; and there is no- 
thing more express, than that such as are under the new 


covenant, need no man to teach them : yet it was a fruit of 
Christ's ascension to send teachers and pastors for perfect- 
ing of the saints. So that the same work is ascribed to the 
Scriptures as to teachers ; the one to make the man of 
God perfect, the other for the perfection of the saints. 

As then teachers are not to go before the teaching of 
God himself under the new covenant, but to follow after 
it ; neither are they to rob us of that great privilege which 
Christ hath purchased unto us by his blood ; so neither is 
the Scripture to go before the teaching of the Spirit, or to 
rob us of it. 

Secondly, God hath seen meet that herein we should, as 
in a looking-glass, see the conditions and experiences of 
the saints of old ; that finding our experience answer to 
theirs, we might thereby be the more confirmed and com- 
forted, and our hope of obtaining the same end strength- 
ened ; that observing the providences attending them, 
seeing the snares they were liable to, and beholding their 
deliverances, we may thereby be made wise unto salvation, 
and seasonably instructed in righteousness. 

§. VI. In this respect then we have shewn what service 
and use the holy Scriptures, as managed in and by the 
Spirit, are of to the church of God; wherefore we do ac- 
count them a secondary rule. Moreover, because they are 
commonly acknowledged by all to have been written by 
the dictates of the Holy Spirit, and that the errors which 
may be supposed by the injury of time to have slipped in, 
are not such but that there is a sufficient clear testimony left 
to all the essentials of the Christian faith; we do look upon 
them as the only fit outward judge of controversies among 
Christians ; and that whatsoever doctrine is contrary to 
their testimony, may therefore justly be rejected as false. 
And for our parts, we are very willing that all our doc- 
trines and practices be tried by thcnn; which we nevef 


refused, nor ever shall, in all controversies with our 
opponents, as the judge and test. We shall also be very 
willing to admit it as a positive certain maxim, That what- 
soever any do, pretending to the Spirit, which is contrary 
to the Scriptures, be accounted and reckoned a delusion of 
the devil. 

Thus far we have shewn both what we beheve and what 
we believe not, concerning the holy Scriptures. But since 
they that will needs have them to be the only, certain, and 
principal rule, want not some shew of argument, even from 
the Scripture itself (though it nowhere calls itself so) by 
which they labour to prove their doctrine ; I shall briefly 
lay them down by way of objections, and answer them. 

§. VII. Their first objection is usually drawn from 
Isaiah viii. 20. " To the law and to the testimony ; if they 
speak not according to this word, it is because there is no 
hght in them." Now this law, testunony, and word, they 
plead to be the Scriptures. 

To which I answer, that that is to beg the thing in 
question, and remains yet unproved. Nor do I know for 
what reason we may not safely affirm this law and word to 
be inward : but suppose it was outward, it proves not the 
case at all for them, neither makes it against us ; for it may 
be confessed, without any prejudice to our cause, that the 
outward law was more particularly to the Jews a rule, and 
more principally than to us ; seeing their law was outwai-d 
and hteral, but ours under the new covenant is expressly 
affirmed to be inward and spiritual ; so that this Scripture 
is so far from making against us, that it makes for us. 
For if the Jews were dkected to try all things by their 
law, which was without them, written in tables of stone ; 
then if we will have this advice of the prophet to reach 
us, we must make it hold parallel to that dispensation of 
the gospel which we are under : so that we are to try all 


things, in the first place, by that word of faith which is 
preached unto us, which the apostle saith is in the heart; 
and by that law which God hath given us, which the 
apostle saith also expressly is written and placed in the 

Lastly, If we look to this place according to the Greek 
interpretation, the Septuagint, our opponents shall have 
nothing from thence to carp ; yea, it will favour us much ; 
for there it is said, that the law is given us for an help ; 
which very well agrees with what is above asserted. 

Their second objection is from John v. 39. " Search* the 
Scriptures," &c. 

Here, say they, we are commanded, by Christ himself, 
to search the Scriptures. 

I answer. First, That the Scriptures ought to be 
searched, we do not at all deny; but the question is, 
Whether they be the only and principal rule? Which 
this is so far from proving, that it proveth the contrary ; 
for Christ checks them here for too high an esteem of the 
Scriptures, and neglecting of him that was to be preferred 
before them, and to whom they boi*e witness, as the follow- 
ing words declare ; for in " them ye think ye have eternal 
life, and they are they which testify of me : and ye will not 
come unto me, that ye might have life." This shews, that 
while they thought they had eternal life in the Scriptures, 
they neglected to come unto Christ that they might have 
life. This answers well to our purpose, since our oppo- 
nents now do also exalt the Scriptures, and think to have 
life in them; which is no more than to look upon them as 
the only principal rule and way to life, and yet refuse to 
come unto the Spirit of which they testify, even the inward 
spiritual law, which could give them life: so that the cause 

Egtvtari nmy, and perhaps ought to be rendered, *' Ye search." 


of this people's ignorance and unbelief, was not their want 
of respect to the Scriptures, which though they knew, and 
had a high esteem of, yet Christ testifies in the former 
verses, that they had neither seen the Father, nor heard 
his voice at any time; neither had his word abiding in 
them ; therefore they did not believe in the Son. 

§. VIII. Their third objection is from these words, 
Acts xvii. 11. "These were more noble than those in 
Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all 
readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whe- 
ther those things were so." 

Here, say they, the Bereans are commended for search- 
ing the Scriptures, and making them the rule. 

I answer, That the Scriptures either are the principal 
or only rule, will not at all follow from this ; neither will 
their searching the Scriptures, or being commended for it, 
infer any such thing: for we approve the use of them in 
that respect as much as any; yet will it not follow, that we 
affirm them to be the principal and only rule. 

Secondly, It is to be observed that these were the Jews 
of Berea, to whom these Scriptures, which were the law 
and the prophets, were more particularly a rule; and the 
thing under examination was, whether the birth, life, 
works, and sufferings of Christ, did answer to the prophe- 
cies that went before of him ; so that it was most proper for 
them, being Jews, to examine the apostle's doctrine by the 
Scriptures ; seeing he pleaded it to be a fulfilling of them. 
It is said nevertheless, in the first place. That they re- 
ceived the word with cheerfulness; and in the second 
place, They searched the Scriptures: not that they 
searched the Scriptures and then received the word ; for 
then could the Scriptures not have prevailed to convert 
them, had they not first minded the word abiding in them, 
which opened their understandings, no more than the 


Scribes and Pharisees, who searched the Scriptures, and 
exalted them, and yet remained in their unbehef, because 
they had not the word abiding in them. 

But lastly. If this commendation of the Berean Jews 
might infer that the Scriptures were the only and principal 
rule to try the apostle's doctrine by, what should have be- 
come of the Gentiles ? How should they ever have come 
to have received the faith of Christ, who neither knew the 
Scriptures, nor believed them ? We see in the end of the 
same chapter, how the apostle, preaching to the Athenians, 
took another method, and directed them to somewhat of 
God within themselves, that they might feel after him. 
He did not go. about to proselyte them to the Jewish reh- 
gion, and to the belief of the law and the prophets, and 
from thence to prove the coming of Christ ; nay, he took a 
nearer way. Now certainly the principal and only rule is 
not different ; one to the Jews, and another to the Gen- 
tiles, but is universal, reaching both: though secondary 
and subordinate rules and means may be various, and 
diversly suited, according as the people they are used to 
are circumstanced: even so we see that the apostle to the 
Athenians used a testimony of one of their own poets*, 
which he judged would have credit with them ; and no 
doubt such testimonies, whose authors they esteemed, had 
more weight with them than all the sayings of Moses and 
the prophets, whom they neither knew nor would have 
cared for. Now because the apostle used the testimony of 
a poet to the Athenians, will it therefore follow he made 
that the principal or only rule to try his doctrine by .? So 
neither will it follow, that though he made use of the 
Scriptures to the Jews, as being a principle already be^. 

* T« yx^ Kj yivos, — Atiatus. 
Fyr \vc arc alj>o his olispring. 


lieted by them, to try his doctrine, that from thence the 
Scriptures may be accounted the principal or only rule. 

§. IX. Tlie last, and that wliich at first view seems to 
be the greatest objection, is this : 

If the Scripture be not the adequate, principal, and only 
rule, then it would follow that the Scripture is not com- 
plete, nor the canon filled ; that if men be now immediately 
led and ruled by the Spirit, they may add new Scriptures 
of equal authority with the old ; whereas every one that 
adds is cursed: yea, what assurance have we, but at this 
rate every one may bring in a new gospel, according to his 
fancy ? 

The dangerous consequences insinuated in this objection 
were fully answered in the latter part of the last propo- 
sition, and in what was said a little before, offering freely 
to disclaim all pretended revelations contrary to the 

But if it be urged, That it is not enough to deny these 
consequences, if they naturally follow from your doctrine of 
immediate revelation, and denying the Scripture to be the 
only rule ; 

I answer; We have proved both these doctrines to be 
true and necessary, according to the Scriptures them- 
selves; and therefore to fasten evil consequences upon 
them, which we make appear do not follow, is not to 
accuse us, but Christ and his apostles, who preached 

But secondly. We have shut the door upon all such doc- 
trine in this very position; affirming, that the Scriptures 
give a full and ample testimony to all the principal doc- 
trines of the Christian faith ; for we do firmly believe that 
there is no other gospel or doctrine to be preached, but 
that which was deUvered by the apostles; and do freely 
subscribe to that saying, " Let him that preacheth any 


other gospel, than that which hath been ah'eady preached 
by the apostles, and according to the Scripture, be ac- 

So we distinguish betwixt a revelation of a new gospel, and 
new doctrines, and a new revelation of the good old gospel 
and doctrines ; the last we plead for, but the first we utterly 
deny. For we firmly believe, That no other foundation 
can any man lay, than that which is laid already. But that 
this revelation is necessary we have already proved ; and 
this distinction doth sufficiently guard us against the 
hazard insinuated in the objection. 

As to the Scriptures being a filled canon, I see no 
necessity of believing it. And if these men, that believe the 
Scriptures to be the only rule, will be consistent with their 
own doctrine, they must needs be of my judgment; seeing 
it is simply impossible to prove the canon by the Scriptures. 
For it cannot be found in any book of the Scriptures, that 
these books, and just these, and no other, are canonical, 
as all are forced to acknowledge. 

If they should allege ; That the admitting of any other 
books to be now written by the same Spirit might infer the 
admission of new doctrines ; 

I deny that consequence; for the principal or funda- 
mental doctrines of the Christian religion are contained in 
the tenth part of the Scripture ; but it will not follow 
thence that the rest are useless. If it should please God 
to bring to us any of those books, which by the injury of 
time are lost, which are mentioned in the Scripture; as. 
The prophecy of Enoch; the book of Nathan, &c. or the 
third epistle of Paul to the Corinthians; I see no reason 
why we ought not to receive them, and place them with 
the rest. That which displeaseth me is, that men should 
first affirm that the Scripture is the only and principal rule. 


and yet make a great article of faith of that which the 
Scripture can give us no light in. 

As for instance: How shall a Protestant prove by 
Scriptiu'e, to such as deny the Epistle of James to be 
authentic, that it ought to be received ? 

Fu'st, If he would say. Because it contradicts not the 
rest, perhaps these men think it doth contradict Paul in 
relation to faith and works. But, if that should be granted, 
it would as well follow, that every writer that contradicts 
not the Scripture, should be put into the canon ; and by 
this mean these men fall into a greater absurdity than they 
fix upon us : for thus they might equal every one the writ- 
ings of their own sect with the Scriptures. 

And Lastly, as to these words. Rev. xxii. 18. "That if 
any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto 
him the plagues that are written in this book ;" I desire 
they will shew me how it relates to any thing else than to 
that particular prophecy. It saith not. Now the canon of 
the Scripture is filled up, no man is to write more from the 
Spirit ; yea, do not all confess that there have been pro- 
phecies and true prophets since ? 


Concerning the Condition of Man in the Fall. 

All Adam's posterity, or mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, 
as to the first Adam, or earthly man, is fallen and de- 
generated ; deprived of the sensation or feeling of this 
inward testimony or seed of God; and is subject unto 
the power, nature, and seed of the serpent, which he 


soweth in men's hearts, while they abide in this natural 

and corrupted estate ; from whence it comes, that not 

only their words and deeds, but all their imaginations, 

are evil perpetually in the sight of God, as proceeding 

from this depraved and wicked seed. Man, therefore, 

as he is in this state, can know nothing aright; yea, his 

thoughts and conceptions concerning God and things 

spiritual, until he be disjoined from this evil seed, and 

united to the Divine Light, are unprofitable both to 

himself and others. Hence are rejected the Socinian 

and Pelagian errors, in exalting a natural light; as also 

of the Papists, and most Protestants, who affirm. That 

man, without the true grace of God, may be a true 

minister of the gospel. Nevertheless, this seed is not 

imputed to infants, until by transgression they actually 

join themselves therewith ; for those are by nature the 

children of wrath, who walk according to the power of 

the prince of the air*, the spirit that now worketh in 

the children of disobedience, having their conversation 

in the lusts of the flesh, and doing the things that are 

agreeable to the flesh and to the imagination. 

§. I. Hitherto we have discoursed how the true know- 
ledge of God is attained; also of what use the holy 
Scriptures are. 

We come now to examine the condition of man as he 
stands in the fall ; what his capacity and power is ; and 
how far he is able, of himself, to advance in relation to the 
things of God. This we touched a little in the beginning 
of the second proposition ; but the right and thorough un- 
derstanding of it is of great use and service ; because from 
the ignorance and altercations that have been about it, 

• The usual import of tlie word anf, in classic autliors, is ddilsiirxs. 


there liave arisen dangerous errors, both on the one hand 
and on the other. While some do so far exalt the hght of 
nature, or the facuUy of the natural man, as capable of 
himself, by vh'tue of the inward will, light, and power, that 
pertains to his nature, to follow that which is good, and 
make real progress towards heaven; others again will 
needs run into another extreme, not only confessing man 
uncapable of himself to do good, and prone to evil; but 
that in his very mother's w^omb, and before he commits 
any actual transgression, he is contaminate with a real 
guilt, whereby he deserves eternal death : in which respect 
they are not afraid to aifirm. That many poor infants are 
eternally damned, and for ever endure the torments of 
hell. The God of truth, having now again revealed his 
truth, by his own Spirit, hath taught us to avoid both these 

That then which our proposition leads us to treat of 

First, What the condition of man is in the fall ; and how 
far uncapable to meddle in the things of God. 

And Secondly, That God doth not impute this evil to 
infants, until they actually join with it. 

§. II. As to the first, not to dive into the many curious 
notions which many have concerning the condition of Adam 
before the fall, all agree in this, that thereby he came to a 
very great loss, not only in the things which related to the 
outward man, but in regard of that true communion he 
had with God. This loss was signified unto him in the 
command, " For in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt 
sui'ely die," Gen. ii. 17. This death could not be an out- 
ward death ; for as to that, he did not die yet many hun- 
dred years after; so that it must needs respect his spiritual 
life and communion with God. The consequence of this 
fall, besides that which relates to the fruits of the earth, 



is also expressed, Gen. iii. 24. " So he drove out the mait, 
and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, 
and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the 
way of the tree of life." Now whatever literal significa- 
tion this may have, we may safely ascribe to this paradise 
a mystical signification, and truly account it that spiritual 
communion, which the saints obtain with God by Jesus 
Christ ; to whom only these cherubim give way, and unto as 
many as enter by him, who calls himself the door. So that 
though we do not ascribe any whit of Adam's guilt to 
men, until they make it theirs by the like acts of disobe- 
dience; yet we cannot suppose that men, who are come of 
Adam naturally, can have any good thmg in their nature, 
as belonging to it; which he, from whom they derive their 
nature, had not himself to communicate unto them. 

If then we may affirm, that Adam did not retain in his 
nature any will or light capable to give him knowledge 
in spiritual things, then neither can his posterity : for 
whatsoever real good any man doeth, it proceedeth not 
from his nature, as he is man, or the son of Adam ; but 
from the seed of God in him, as a new visitation of life, in 
order to bring him out of this natural condition : so that, 
though it be in him, yet it is not of him; and this the 
Lord himself witnessed. Gen vi. 5. where it is said, he 
saw that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart 
was only evil continually : which words as they are very 
positive, so are they very comprehensive. Observe the 
emphasis of them; First, There is every imagination of 
the thoughts of his heart ; so that this admits of no ex- 
ception of any imagination of the thoughts of his heart. 
Secondly, Is only evil continually; it is neither in some 
part evil continually, nor yet only evil at some times; but 
both only evil, and always and continually evil; which 
certainly excludes any good, as a proper effect of man's 


heai% naturally : for that which is only evil, and that 
always, cannot of its own nature produce any good thing. 
The Lord expressed this again a httle after, chap. viii. 21. 
" The imagination of mans heart is evil from his youth;" 
thus inferring how natural and proper it is unto him ; from 
which I thus argue : 

If the thoughts of man's heart be not only evil, but 
always evil ; then are they, as they simply proceed from his 
heart, neither good in part, nor at any time. 

If man's thoughts be always and only evil, then are they 
altogether useless to him in the things of God. 

This appears clearly from that saying of the prophet 
Jeremiah, chap. xvii. 9. " The heart is deceitful above all 
things, and desperately wicked." For who can with any 
colour of reason imagine, that that which is so hath any 
power of itself, or is in any wise fit, to lead a man to 
righteousness, whereunto it is of its own nature directly 
opposite : From this then I also thus argue : 

The heart of man, which is deceitful above all things, 
and desperately wicked, is not fit, neither can it lead a 
man aright in things that are good and honest. 

But the apostle Paid describeth the condition of men in 
the fall at large, taking it out of the Psalmist : " There is 
none righteous, no not one: there is none that under- 
standeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are 
all gone out of the way, they are altogether become un- 
profitable ; there is none that doeth good, no not one. 
Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they 
have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their hps : 
whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet 
are swift to shed blood ; destruction and misery are in 
their ways : and the way of peace have they not known. 
There is no fear of God before their eyes." What 


more positive can be spoken? He seemeth to be particu- 
larly careful to avoid that any good should be ascribed to 
the natural man; he shews how he is polluted in all his 
ways; he shews how he is void of righteousness, of under- 
standing, of the knowledge of God; than which nothing 
can be more fully said to confirm our judgment : for if this 
be the condition of the natural man, or of man as he stands 
in the fall, he is unfit to make one right step to heaven. 

If it be said, That is not spoken of the condition of man 
in general; but only of some particulars, or at the least 
that it comprehends not all. 

The text sheweth the contrary in the foregoing verses, 
where the apostle takes in himself, as he stood in his natu- 
ral condition. " What then ? Are we better than they ? 
No, in no wise ; for we have before proved, both Jews 
and Gentiles, that they are all under sin, as it is written :" 
by which it is manifest that he speaks of mankind in 

If they object that which the same apostle saith in the 
foregoing chapter, ver. 14, to wit, That the Gentiles do by 
nature the things contained in the law, and so consequent- 
ly do by nature that which is good and acceptable in the 
sight of God ; 

I answer; This nature must not, neither can be under- 
stood of man's own nature, which is corrupt ; but of the 
spiritual nature, which proceedeth from the seed of God 
in man, as it receiveth a new visitation of God's love, and 
is quickened by it : which clearly appears by the following 
words, where he saith. These not having a law (i. e.) out- 
wardly, are a law unto themselves; which shews the work 
of the law written in their hearts. These acts of theirs 
then are an effect of the law written in their hearts ; but 
the Scripture declareth, that the writing of the law in the 
heart is a part, yea and a great part too, of the new cove- 

<)F MAN IN TJlIi 1\IA,. S)S 

nant dispensation, and so no consequence nor part of 
man's nature. 

Secondly, If this nature here spoken of could be under- 
stood of man's own nature, which he hath as he is a man, 
then would the apostle unavoidably contradict himself; 
since he elsewhere positively declares, that the natural 
man discerneth not the things of God, nor can. Now I 
hope the law of God is among the things of God, espe- 
cially as it is written in the heart. The apostle, in the viitli 
chap, of the same epistle, saith, verse 12. that the law is 
holy, just, and good; and verse 14. the law is spiritual, 
but he is carnal. Now in what respect is he carnal, but 
as he stands in the fall unregenerate? Now what incon- 
sistency would here be, to say. That he is carnal, and yet 
not so of his own nature, seeing it is from his nature 
that he is so denominated? We see tlie apostle contra- 
distinguisheth the law as spiritual, from man's nature as 
carnal and sinful. Wherefore, as Christ saith, There can 
no grapes be expected from thorns, nor figs of thistles; so 
neither can the fulfilling of the law, which is spiritual, 
holy, and just, be expected from that nature which is 
fallen, and unregenerate. Whence we conclude, with good 
reason, that the nature here spoken of, by which the Gen- 
tiles are said to have done the things contained in the 
law, is not the common nature of men ; but that spiritual 
nature that ariseth from the operation of the righteous 
and spiritual law that is written in the heart. 

§. III. I might also here use another argument from 
those words of the apostle, 1 Cor. ii. where he so posi- 
tively excludes the natural man from an understanding in 
the things of God; but because I have spoken of that 
Scripture in the beginning of the second proposition, I 
will here avoid to repeat what is there mentioned; yet be- 
cause the Socinians and others, who exalt the light of the 


natural man, or a natural light in man, do object against 
this Scripture, I shall remove it before I proceed. 

They say. The Greek word -^^x'^^os ought to be trans- 
lated animal, and not natural; else, say they, it would 
have been <pvaiMi. From which they seek to infer, that 
it is only the animal man, and not the rational, that is 
excluded here from discerning the thing* of God. Which 
shift, without disputing about the word, is easily refuted; 
neither is it any wise consistent with the scope of the 
place. For 

First, The animal life is no other than that which man 
hath in common with other living creatures ; for as he is 
a mere man, he differs no otherwise from beasts than by 
the rational property. Now the apostle deduceth his ar- 
gument in the foregoing verses from this simile ; That as 
the things of a man cannot be known but by the spirit of 
a man, so the things of God no man knoweth but by the 
Spirit of God. But I hope these men will confess that 
the things of a man are not known by the animal spirit 
only, i. e. by that which he hath in common with the 
beasts, but by the rational; so that it must be the rational 
that is here understood. Again, the assumption shews 
clearly that the apostle had no such intent as these men's 
gloss would make him have, viz. " So the things of God 
knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." According to 
their judgment he should have said. The things of God 
knoweth no man by his animal spirit, but by his rational 
spirit: for to say, the Spirit of God, here spoken of, is no 
other than the rational spirit of man, would border upon 
blasphemy, since they are so often contra-distinguished. 
Again, going on, he saith not that they are rationally, but 
spiritually discerned. 

Secondly, The apostle throughout this chapter shews 


how the wisdom of man is unfit to judge of the things of 
God, and ignorant of them. Now I ask these men, whe- 
ther a man be called a wise man from his animal property, 
or from his rational? If from his rational, then it is not 
only the animal but also the rational, as he is yet in the 
natural state, which the apostle excludes here, and wliom 
he contra-distinguisheth from the spiritual, verse 15. 
" But the spii-itual man judgeth all things." This cannot 
be said of any man merely because rational, or as he is a 
man, seeing the men of the greatest reason, if we may so 
esteem men whom the Scripture calls wise, as were the 
Greeks of old, not only may be, but often are, enemies to 
the kingdom of God ; while both the preaching of Christ 
is said to be foolishness with the wise men of the world, 
and the -wisdom of the world is said to be foolishness with 
God. Now whether it be any ways probable that either 
these wise men that are said to account the gospel foolish^ 
ziess, ai'e only so called with respect to their animal pro- 
perty, and not their rational; or that the wisdom that is 
foolishness with God is not meant of the rational, but only 
the animal property, any rational man, laying aside pre- 
judice, may easily judge. 

§. IV. I come now to the other part, to wit. That this 
eyil and corrupted seed is not imputed to infants, until they 
actually join with it. For this there is a reason given in 
the end of the proposition itself, drawn from Eph. ii, 
" For these are by nature children of wrath, who walk 
according to the prince of the power of the air*, the 
spirit that now wox'keth in the children of disobedience." 
Here the apostle gives their evil walking, and not any 
jthing that is not reduced to act, as a reason of their being 

• See NuLe, page 48. 


children of wrath*. And this is suitable to the whole 
strain of the gospel, where no man is ever threatened or 
judged for what iniquity he hath not actually wrought; 
such indeed as continue in inquity, and so do allow the 
sins of their flithers, God will visit the iniquity of the 
fathers upon the children. The apostle saith plainly, 
Rom. iv. 1 5. " Where no law is, there is no transgres- 
sion." And again, v. 1 3. " But sin is not imputed where 
there is no law." 

From which I thus argue: 

Infants being under a physical impossibility, to whom 
there is no law, sin is not imputed to them. 

Secondly, What can be more positive than that of 
Ezek. xviii. SO. " The soul that sinneth, it shall die; the 
son shall not bear the father's iniquity?" For the pro- 
phet here first sheweth what is the cause of man's eternal 
death, which he saith is his sinning ; and then, as if he 
purposed expressly to shut out such an opinion, he assures 
us. The son shall not bear the father's iniquity; far less 
shall he bear the iniquity of Adam. 

§. V. Having thus far shewn how absurd this opinion 
is, I shall briefly examine the reasons its authors bring 
for it. 

First, They say, Adam was a public person, and there- 
fore all men sinned in him, as being in his loins. And for 
this they allege that of Rom. v. 12. " Wherefore as by one 
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so 
death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned, &c.'* 
These last words, say they, may be translated, " In whom 
all have sinned.'' 

• Our Author here seems to have been led into a mistake, by not con- 
sidering the words children of wrath to mean wrathful children, as children 
of disobedience means disobedient children. 



To this I answer: That Adam is a public person is not 
denied ; and that through him there is a seed of sin pro- 
pagated to all men, which in its own nature is sinful, and 
inclines men to iniquity ; yet it will not follow from thence, 
that infants, who join not with this seed, are guilty. As 
for these words in the Romans, the reason of the guilt 
there alleged is, For that all have sinned. Now no man 
is said to sin, unless he actually sin in his own person : of 
which that infants are incapable, the apostle clearly shows 
by the following verse. Sin is not imputed, where there is 
no law: and since there is no law to infants, they cannot 
be here included. 

Their second objection is fi'om Psalm li. 5. " Behold I 
was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive 
me." Hence, they say, it appears that infants from their 
conception are guilty. 

How they infer this consequence, I see not. The ini- 
quity and sin here appear to be far more ascribable to 
the parents than to the child. It is said indeed. In sin did 
my mother conceive me; not, My mother did conceive me 
a sinner. Besides that, so interpreted, contradicts ex- 
pressly the Scripture before-mentioned, in making chil- 
dren guilty of the sins of their immediate parents, (for of 
Adam there is not here any mention,) contrary to the plain 
words, the son shall not bear the father's inquity. 

Thirdly, they object. That the wages of sin is death; 
and that seeing children are subject to diseases and death, 
therefore they must be guilty of sin. 

I answer, That these things are a consequence of the 
fall, and of Adam's sin, is confessed; but that that infers 
necessarily a guilt in all others that are subject to them is 
denied. For though the whole outward creation suffered 
a decay by Adam's fall, which groans under vanity; ac- 
cording to which it is said in Job, that the heavens are not 


clean in the sight of God; yet will it not from thence fol- 
low, that the herbs, earth, and trees are sinners. 

Next, death, though a consequence of the fall, incident 
to man's earthly nature, is not the wages of sin in the 
saints, but rather a sleep, by which they pass from death 
to life ; which is so far from being painful to them, as all 
real punishments for sin are, that the apostle counts it 
gain: " To me," saith he, " to die is gain," Philip, i. 21. 

Some are so foolish as to make an objection farther, 
saying, That if Adam's sin be not imputed to those who 
actually have not sinned, then it would follow that all in- 
fants are saved. 

But we are willing that this supposed absurdity should 
be the consequence of our doctrine, rather than that 
which it seems our opponents reckon not absurd, though 
the undoubted and unavoidable consequence of theirs, viz. 
That many infants eternally perish, not for any sin of their 
own, but only for Adam's iniquity; where we are willing to 
let the controversy stop, commending both to the illumi- 
nated understanding of the Christian reader. 

We confess then that a seed of sin is transmitted to all 
men from Adam, although imputed to none, until by sin- 
ning they actually join with it; in which seed he gave oc- 
casion to all to sin, and it is the origin of all evil actions 
and thoughts in men's hearts. In which death all have 
sinned*, Rom. v. For this seed of sin is frequently called 
death in the Scripture, and the body of death; seeing in- 
deed it is a death to the hfe of righteousness and holiness : 
therefore its seed and its product is called the old man, 
the old Adam, in which all sin is; for which cause we use 
this name to express this sin, and not that of original sin; 
of which phrase the Scripture makes no mention, an(i 

* i<p' m viz. OavxTf. 


under which unscriptural barbarism this notion of imputed 
sin to infants took place among Christians. 


God, out of his infinite love, who delighteth not in the 
death of a sinner, but that all should live and be saved, 
hath so loved the world, that he hath given his only 
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should 
be saved, John iii. 16. who enlighteneth every man 
that Cometh into the world, John i. 9. and maketh 
manifest all things that are reprovable, Ephes. v. 13. 
and teacheth all temperance, righteousness, and godli- 
ness; and this Light enlighteneth the hearts of all for 
a time, in order to salvation; and this is it which re- 
proves the sin of all individuals, and would work out 
the salvation of all, if not resisted. Nor is it less uni- 
versal than the seed of sin, being the purchase of his 
death, who tasted death for every man: "for as in 
Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive," 
1 Cor. XV. 22. 


According to which principle or hypothesis all the objec- 
tions against the universality of Christ's death are easily 
solved ; neither is it needful to recur to the ministry of 
angels, and those other miraculous means which they 


say God useth to manifest the doctrine and history of 
Christ's passion unto such, who, living in parts of the 
world where the outward preaching of the gospel is un- 
known, have well improved the first and common grace. 
For as hence it well follows that some of the old philo- 
sophers have been saved, so also may some, who by 
providence are cast into those remote parts of the world 
where the knowledge of the history is wanting, be made 
partakers of the divine mystery, if they receive and re* 
sist not that grace, a manifestation whereof is given to 
every man to profit withal. This most certain doctrine 
being then received, that there is an evangehcal and 
saving light and grace in all, the universality of the love 
and mercy of God towards mankind, both in the death 
of his beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the 
manifestation of the light in the heart, is established 
against all the objections of svich as deny it. Therefore 
Christ hath tasted death for every man; not only for all 
kinds of men, but for every man of all kinds; the benefit 
of whose ofifering is nQt only extended to such as have 
the distinct and outward knowledge of his death and 
sufferings, as the same is declared in the Scriptures, but 
even unto those who are necessarily excluded from the 
benefit of this knowledge by some inevitable accident; 
which knowledge we wilhngly confess to be very pro- 
fitable and comfortable, but not absolutely needful unto 
such from whom God himself hath withheld it; yet they 
may be made partakers of the mystery of his death, 
though ignorant of the history, if they suffer his seed 
and light, enlightening their hearts, to take place, in 
which light communion with the Father and the Son is 
enjoyed, so as of wicked men to become holy, and lovers 
of that power, by whose inward and secret touches they 
feci themselves turned from the evil to the good, and 


learn to do to others as they would be done by, in whicli 
Christ himself affinns all to be included. As they have 
then erroneously taught, who have denied Christ to 
have died for all men ; so neither have they sufficiently 
taught the ti'uth, who affirming him to have died for all, 
have added the absolute necessity of the outward know- 
ledge thereof, in order to obtain its saving effect. 
Among whom the remonstrants of Holland have been 
cliiefly wanting, and many other asserters of universal 
redemption, in that they have not placed the extent of 
this salvation in that divine and evangelical principle of 
h'ght and life wherewith Christ hath enlightened every 
man that cometh into the world, which is excellently and 
evidently held forth in these Scriptures, Gen. vi. 3. 
Deut. XXX. 14. John i. 7, 8, 9, 16. Rom. x. 8. Titus 
ii. 11. 

Hitherto we have considered man's fallen and degene- 
rated condition. Now it is fit to inquire, how and by 
what means he may come to be freed out of this miserable 
condition, which in these two propositions is declared and 

As for that doctrine which these propositions chiefly 
strike at, to vrit, absolute reprobation, according to which 
some are not afraid to assert, " That God, by an eternal 
and immutable decree, hath predestinated to eternal dam- 
nation the far greater part of mankind, not considered as 
created, much less as fallen, without any respect to their 
disobedience or sin, but only for the demonstrating of the 
glory of his justice ; and that for the bringing this about, 
he hath appointed these miserable souls necessarily to walk 
in then- wicked ways, that so his justice may lay hold 
on them : and that God doth therefore not only suffer 
them to be liable to this misery in many parts of the world. 


by withholding from them the preaching of the gospel 
and the knowledge of Christ, but even in those places 
where the gospel is preached, and salvation by Christ is 
offered; whom, though he publicly invite them, yet he 
justly condemns for disobedience ; albeit he hath withheld 
from them all grace by which they could have laid hold of 
the gospel, viz. Because he hath, by a secret will unknown 
to all men, ordained and decreed (without any respect had 
to their obedience or sin) that they shall not obey, and 
that the offer of the gospel shall never prove effectual for 
their salvation, but only serve to aggravate and occasion 
then* greater condemnation." 

I say, as to this blasphemous doctrine, our cause is com- 
mon with many others, who have both wisely and learnedly, 
according to Scripture and reason, refuted it. Seeing 
then so much is already and so well said against this doc- 
trine, that little can be superadded, I shall be short in this 

§. I. First, We may safely call this doctrine a novelty, 
seeing the first four hundred years after Christ there is no 
mention made of it : for as it is contrary to the Scriptures' 
testimony, and to the tenor of the gospel, so all the ancient 
writers and doctors of the church pass it over with a pro- 
found silence. However, we should not oppugn it for the 
silence of the ancients, paucity of its asserters, or for the 
learnedness of its opposers, if we did observe it to have 
any real bottom in the sacred writings, and that it were 
not highly injurious to God himself, to Jesus Christ our 
Mediator and Redeemer, and to the power, virtue, and 
excellency of his blessed gospel, and lastly unto all man- 

§. II. First, It is highly injurious to God, because it 
makes him the author of sin, which of all things is most 
contrary to his nature. 


§. III. Secondly, this doctrine is injurious to God, be- 
cause it makes him dehght in the death of sinners, and to 
will many to die in their sins, contrary to these Scriptures, 
Ezek. xxxiii. 11.1 Tim. ii. 4. 2 Pet. iii. 9. For if he hath 
created men only for this very end, that he might shew 
forth his justice and power in them, as these men affirm, 
and for eflPecting thereof hath not only withheld from them 
the means of doing good, but also predestinated the evil, 
that they might fall into it ; and that he forces them into 
great sins; certainly he must necessarily delight in their 
death, and will them to die ; seeing against his own will he 
neither doth nor can do any thing. 

§. IV. Thirdly, It is highly injurious to Christ our 
mediator, and to the efficacy and excellency of his gospel : 
for it renders his mediation ineffectual, as if he had not by 
his suffijrings thoroughly broken down the middle wall, nor 
yet removed the wrath of God, or purchased the love of 
God towards all mankind, if it was afore-decreed that it 
should be of no service to the far greater part of them. 
It is to no purpose to allege, that the death of Christ was 
of efficacy enough to have saved all mankind, if in effect its 
virtue be not so far extended as to put them into a capacity 
of salvation. 

Fourthly, It makes the preaching of the gospel a mere 
mock and illusion, if many of these, to whom it is preach- 
ed, be by any irrevocable decree excluded from being 
benefited by it ; it wholly makes useless the preaching of 
faith and repentance, and the whole tenor of the gospel- 
promises and threatenings, as being all relative to a former 
decree and means before appointed to such; which, be- 
cause they cannot fail, man needs do nothing but wait for 
that irresistible juncture, which will come, though it be but 
at the last hour of his life, if he be in the decree of elec- 


tion; and be his diligence what it can, he shall never attain 
it, if he belong to the decree of reprobation. 

Fifthly, It makes the coming of Christ, and his propitia- 
tory sacrifice, which the Scripture affirms to have been 
the fruit of God's love to the world, and transacted 
for the sins and salvation of all men, to have been 
rather a testimony of God's wrath to the world, and one of 
the greatest judgments, and severest acts of God's indig- 
nation towards mankind, it being only ordained to save a 
very few, and for the hardening, and augmenting the con- 
demnation of the far greater number of men, because they 
believe not truly in it; the cause of which unbelief again, is 
the hidden counsel of God: certainly the coming of Christ 
was never to them a testimony of God's love, but rather 
of his implacable wrath : and if the world may be taken for 
the far greater number of such as live in it, God never 
loved the world, according to this doctrine, but rather 
hated it greatly, in sending his son to be crucified in it. 

§. V. Sixthly, This doctrine is highly injurious to man- 
kind ; for it renders them in a far worse condition than the 
devils in hell. For these were sometime in a capacity to 
have stood, and do suffer only for their ownguUt; whereas 
many millions of men are for ever tormented, according to 
them, for Adam's sin, which they neither knew of. nor ever 
were accessary to. It renders them worse than the beasts 
of the field, of whom the master requires no more than 
they are able to perform; and if they be killed, death to 
them is the end of sorrow ; whereas man is for ever tor- 
mented for not doing that which he never was able to do. 
It makes the outward creation of the works of Providence, 
the smitings of conscience, sufficient to convince the 
iieathens of sin, and so to condemn and judge them: but 
not at all to help them to salvation. It makes the preach- 
ing of the gospel, the offer of salvation by Christ, tiie use 


of the sacraments, of prayer, and good works, sufficient to 
condemn those they account reprobates within the church, 
serving only to inform them to beget a seeming faith and 
vain hope ; yet because of a secret hnpotency, which they 
had from their infancy, all these are wholly ineffectual to 
bring them the least step towards salvation; and do only 
contribute to render their condemnation the greater, and 
their torments the more intolerable. 

Having thus briefly removed this false doctrine which 
stood in my way, I come to the matter jof our proposition ; 
which is. That God out of his infinite love, who delighteth 
not in the death of a sinner, but that all should live and be 
saved, hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that 
whosoever believeth in him might be saved ; which also is 
again affirmed in the sixth proposition, in these words, 
Christ then tasted death for every man of all kinds. Such 
is the evidence of this truth, delivered almost wholly in 
the express words of Scripture, that it will not need much 

§. VI. This doctrine of universal redemption, or 
Christ's dying for all men, is of itself so evident from the 
Scripture testimony, that there is scarcely found any other 
article of the Christian faith so frequently, so plainly, and 
so positively asserted. It is that which maketh the preach- 
ing of Christ to be truly termed the gospel, or an annunci- 
ation of glad tidings to all. Thus the angel declared the 
birth and coming of Christ to the shepherds to be, Luke 
ii. 10. "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, 
■which shall be to all people:" he saith not, to a few. Now 
if this coming of Christ had not brought a possibility of 
salvation to all, it should rather have been accounted bad 
tidings of great sorrow to most people ; neither should the 
angel have had reason to have sung, " Peace on earth, and 



good will towards men," if the greatest part of mankind 
had been necessarily shut out from receiving any benefit 
by it. How should Christ have sent out his servants to 
preach the gospel to every creature, Mark xvi. 15. that is, 
to every son and daughter of man, without all exception ? 
He commands them to preach salvation to all, repentance 
and remission of sins to all ; warning every one, and ex- 
horting every one, as Paul did, Col. i. 28. Now how 
could they have preached the gospel to every man, as be- 
came the ministers of Jesus Christ, in much assurance, if 
salvation by that gospel had not been possible to all? 
What ! if some of those had asked them, or should now 
ask any of these doctors, who deny the universality of 
Christ's death, and yet preach it to all promiscuously, Hath 
Christ died for me? How can they, with confidence, give 
a certain answer to this question ? If they give a condi- 
tional answer, as their principle obligeth them to do, and 
say. If thou repent, Christ hath died for thee ; doth not 
the same question still recur? Hath Christ died for me, so 
as to make repentance possible to me? To this they can 
answer nothing, unless they run in a circle ; whereas the 
feet of those that bring the glad tidings of the gospel of 
peace are said to be beautiful, for that they preach the 
common salvation, repentance unto all ; offering a door of 
mercy and hope to all, through Jesus Christ, who gave 
himself a ransom for all. The gospel invites all : and cer- 
tainly by the gospel Christ intended not to deceive the 
greater part of mankind, when he invites, and crieth, say- 
ing; "Come vmto me all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest." If all then ought to seek 
after him, and to look for salvation by him, he must needs 
have made salvation possible to all; for who is bound to 
seek after that which is impossible ? Certainly it were a 
mocking of men to bid them do so. And such as deny. 


that by the death of Christ salvation is made possible to all 
men, do most blasphemously make God mock the world, in 
giving his servants a commission to preach the gospel of 
salvation unto all, while he hath before decreed that it 
shall not be possible for them to receive it. But seeing 
Christ, after he arose and perfected the work of our re- 
demption, gave a commission to preach repentance, remis- 
sion of sins, and salvation to all, it is manifest that he died 
for all. For He that hath commissionated his servants 
thus to preach, is a God of truth, and no mocker of poor 
mankind ; neither doth he require of any man that which 
is simply impossible for him to do: for that no maii/s 
bound to do that which is impossible, is a principle of 
truth engraven in every man's mind. And seeing he is 
both a most righteous and merciful God, it cannot at all 
stand, either with his justice or mercy, to bid such men 
repent or believe, to whom it is impossible. 

§. VII. Moreover, if we regard the testimony of the 
Scripture in this matter, where there is not one Scripture, 
that I know of, which affirmeth, Christ not to die for all, 
there are divers that positively and expressly assert. He 
did; as 1 Tim. ii. 1, 3, 4, 6. "I exhort, therefore, that first 
of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of 
thanks, be made for all men, &c. For this is good and ac- 
ceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all 
men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the 
truth : who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in 
due time." Except we will have the apostle here to assert 
quite another thing than he intended, there can be nothing 
more plain to confirm what we have asserted. And this 
Scripture doth well answer to that manner of arguing 
which we have hitherto used : for, first, the apostle here 
recommends them to pray for all men ; and to obviate such 



an objection, as if he had said with our opponents, Christ 
prayed not for the world, neither willeth he us to pray for 
all; because he willeth not that all should be saved, but 
hath ordained many to be damned, that he might shew 
forth his justice in them; he obviates, I say, such an ob- 
jection, telling them that it is good and acceptable in the 
sight of God, who will have all men to be saved. To 
conclude, he gives us a reason of his willingness that all 
men should be saved, in these words, Who gave himself a 
ransom for all; as if he would have said, Since Christ died 
for all, since he gave himself a ransom for all, therefore he 
will have all men to be saved This Christ himself gives 
as a reason of God's love to the world, in these words : 
Johniii. 16. "God so loved the world, that he gave his 
only begotten Son, that whosoever belie veth in him should 
not perish, but have everlasting life." This •whosoever is 
an indefinite term, from which no man is excluded. 

From all which then I argue thus, That as it is not only 
lawful but a duty to pray for every man, therefore salva- 
tion is possible to every man; and that as God willeth 
all men to be saved, therefore their salvation is not 
impossible; and further, that as Christ gave himself a ran- 
som for all, therefore salvation is possible to all. 

§. VIII. This is very positively affirmed, Heb. ii. 9. 
in these words : " But we see Jesus, who was made a little 
lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned 
with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God might 
taste death for every man." He that will but open his 
eyes, may see this truth here asserted ; if he tasted death 
for every man, then certainly there is no man for whom he 
did not taste death, then there is no man who may not be 
made a sharer of the benefit of it : for *' he came not to 
condemn the world, but that the world through him might 
be saved," John iii. 17. "He came not to judge the 


world, but to save the woild," John xii. 47. Whereas, 
according to the doctrine of our opponents, he rather came 
to condemn the world, and judge it; and not tliatit might 
be saved by him or to save it. For if he never came to 
bring salvation to the greater part of mankind, but that his 
coming, though it could never do them good, yet shall 
augment their condemnation ; from thence it necessarily 
follows, that he came not of intention to save, but to judge 
and condemn the greater part of the world, contrary to his 
own express testimony; and as the apostle Paul, in the 
words above cited, doth assert affirmatively, That God 
willeth the salvation of all, so doth the apostle Peter assert 
negatively. That he willeth not the perishing of any, 2 Pet. 
iii. 9. " The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as 
some men count slackness, but is long suffering to us-ward, 
not wiUing that any should perish, but that all should 
come to repentance." And this is correspondent to that 
of the prophet Ezekiel, xxxiii. 11. "As I live saith the 
Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but 
that the wicked turn from his way and live." \^'hat mean 
all those earnest invitations, all those serious expostulations, 
wherewith the Holy Scriptures are full ? As, " Why will 
you die^ O house of Israel? Why will ye not come unto 
me, that ye might liave hfe? I have waited to be gracious 
vmto you: I have sought to gather you: I have knocked 
at the door of your hearts : is not your destruction of your- 
selves? I have called all the day long." 

This doctrine is abundantly confirmed by that of the 
apostle, 1 John ii. 1, 2. " And if any man sin, we have an 
advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 
And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours 
only, but also for the sins of the whole world." The way 
which our opponents take to evite this testimony, is most 
foolish and ridiculous : the zc^'orld here, say they, is the 


world of believers : for this commentary we have nothing 
but their own assertion, and so while it manifestly destroys 
the text, may be justly rejected. For, first let them shew 
me, if they can, in all the Scripture, where the whole 
z&orld is taken for believers only; I shall shew them where 
it is many times taken for the quite contrary; as. The 
world knows me not: The world receives me not: I am 
not of this world. The apostle contra-distinguisheth the 
world from the saints thus ; And not for ours only, but for 
the sins of the whole world : What means the apostle by 
ours here? Is not that the sins of believers? Was not 
he one of those believers? And was not this an universal 
epistle, written to all the saints that then were? So that 
according to these men's comment, there should be a very 
unnecessary redundancy in the apostle's words ; as if he 
had said, He is a propitiation not only for the sins of all 
believers, but for the sins of all believers : Is not this to 
make the apostle's words void of good sense? 

§. IX. This doctrine of the universality of Christ's 
death being then so certain and agreeable to the Scripture 
testimony, it may be wondered how so many, some whereof 
have been esteemed not only learned, but also pious, have 
been capable to fall into so gross an error. But the cause 
of this doth evidently appear, in that the way by which the 
virtue and efficacy of his death is communicated to all men, 
hath not been rightly understood, but indeed hath been 
erroneously taught. 

§. X. It falls out then, that as darkness, and the great 
apostasy, came not upon the Christian world all at once, 
but by certain degrees, one thing making way for another, 
until that thick and gross veil beclouded and overshadowed 
the nations, from the seventh and eighth, until the sixteenth 
century : even as the darkness of the night comes not 
upon the outward creation at once, but by degrees, ac- 


cording as the sun declines in each horizon; so neither 
did that clear light and knowledge of the glorious dis- 
pensation of the gospel of Christ appear all at once; the 
work of the first witnesses being more to testify against 
and discover the abuses of the apostasy, than to estabHsh 
the truth in purity. Therefore the Lord God, who as he 
seeth meet doth communicate to man the more evident 
and perfect knowledge of his everlasting truth, hath been 
pleased to reserve the more full discovery of this evan- 
gelical dispensation, to this our age; albeit divers testi- 
monies have thereunto been borne by some noted men in 
several ages. And for the gi'eater augmentation of the 
glory of his grace, that no man might have whereof to 
boast, he hath raised up a few despicable and ilHterate 
men, and for the most part mechanics, to be the dis- 
pensers of this gospel ; by which all the doubts and objec- 
tions above-mentioned are easily and evidently answered, 
and the justice as well as mercy of God, according to their 
divine and heavenly harmony, are exhibited and confirmed. 
According to which certain hght and gospel, as the know- 
ledge thereof has been manifested to us by the revelation 
of Jesus Christ in us, fortified by our own sensible experi- 
ence, and sealed by the testimony of the Spirit in our 
hearts, we can confidently affirm, and according to the 
testimony of the holy Scriptiu*es clearly evince the foUow- 
lowing points : 

§. XI. First, That God, who out of his infinite love 
sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into the world, who 
tasted death' for every man, hath given to every man, 
whether Jew or Gentile, Turk or Scythian, Indian or 
Barbarian, of whatsoever nation, country, or place, a cer- 
tain day or time of visitation ; during which day or time 
it is possible for them to be saved, and to partake of the 
fruit of Christ's death. 


Secondly, That for this end God hath communicated 
and given unto every man a measure of the light of his 
own Son, a measure of grace, or a measure of the Spirit, 
which the Scripture expresses by several names, as some- 
times of the "seed of the kingdom," Mat. xiii. 18, 19, 
" the Light that makes all things manifest," Eph. v. 13, 
"the Word of God," Rom. x. 17. or "manifestation of the 
Spirit given to profit withal, 1 Cor. xii. 7. " a talent," Mat. 
XXV. 1.5. "a Uttle leaven," Mat. xiii. 33. " the gospel preach- 
ed in every creature," Col. i. 23. 

Thirdly, That God, in and by this light and seed, calls, 
exhorts, and strives with every man, in order to save him; 
which, as it is received and not resisted, works the salva- 
tion of all, even of those who are ignorant of the death 
and sufferings of Christ, and of Adam's fall, both by bring-!- 
ing them to a sense of their own misery, and to be sharers 
in the sufferings of Christ inwardly, and by making them 
partakers of his resurrection, in becoming holy, pure, and 
righteous, and recovered out of their sins. By which also 
are saved they that have the knowledge of Christ out- 
wardly, in that it opens their understanding rightly to use 
and apply the things delivered in the Scriptures, and to 
receive the saving use of them : but that this may be re- 
sisted and rejected in both, in which then God is said to 
be resisted and pressed down, and Christ to be again 
crucified, and put to open shame in and among men. And 
to those who thus resist and refuse him, he becomes their 

First then, according to this doctrine the mercy of God 
is excellently well exhibited, in that none are necessarily 
shut out from salvation; and his justice is demonstrated, 
in that he condemns none but such to whom he really 
made offer of salvation, affording them the means sufficient 


Secondly, This doctrine, if well weighed, will be found 
to be tlie foundation of Christianity and salvation. 

Thirdly, It agrees with the whole tenor of the gospel 
promises and threats, and with the nature of the ministry 
of Christ; according to which, the gospel, salvation, and 
repentance, are commanded to be preached to every crea- 
ture, Avithout respect of nations, families, or tongues. 

Fourthly, It magnifies and commends the merits and 
death of Christ, in that it not only accounts them sufficient 
to save all, but declares them to be brought so nigh unto 
all, as thereby they are put into the nearest capacity of 

Fifthly, It exalts above all the grace of God, to which it 
attributeth all good, even the least and smallest actions 
that are so ; ascribing thereunto not only the first be- 
ginnings and motions of good, but also the whole conver- 
sion and salvation of the soul. 

Sixthly, It contradicts that false doctrine which exalts 
the light of nature, the liberty of man's will, in that it 
wholly excludes the natural man from having any place 
or portion in his own salvation, by any acting or working 
of his own, until he be first quickened and actuated by 
God's Spirit. 

Seventhly, As it makes the whole salvation of man 
solely to depend upon God, so it makes his condemnation 
wholly to be of himself, in that he refused and resisted 
somewhat that from God strove in his heart, and forces 
him to acknowledge God's just judgment in rejecting 

Eighthly, It takes away all ground of despair, in that it 
gives every one cause of hope and certain assurance that 
they may be saved ; neither doth feed any in security, in 
that none are certain how soon their day may expire; and 
therefore it is a constant incitement and lively encourage- 


ment to every man, to forsake evil, and close with that 
which is good. 

Ninthly, It wonderfully commends as well the certainty 
of the Christian religion among infidels, as it manifests its 
own verity to all, in that it is confumed by the experience 
of all men, seeing there was never yet a man found in any 
place of the earth, however barbarous, but hath acknow- 
ledged, that at some time or other, less or more, he hath 
found somewhat in his heart reproving him for some 
things evil which he hath done, threatening a certain 
horror if he continued in them, as also promising and 
communicating a certain peace and sweetness, as he has 
given way to it. 

Tenthly, It wonderfully sheweth the excellent wisdom 
of God, by which he hath made the means of salvation so 
universal and comprehensive, that it is not needful to re- 
cur to miraculous ways; seeing, according to this most 
true doctrine, the gospel reacheth all, of whatsoever con- 
dition, age, or nation. 

Eleventhly, It is really and effectively, though not in so 
many words, yet by deeds, confirmed by all the preachers 
and doctors of the Christian religion that ever were, or 
now are, even by those that otherways in their judgment 
oppose this doctrine, in that they all, whatever they have 
been Or are, or whatsoever people or country they come 
to, do preach to the people, and to every individual among 
them, that they may be saved ; intreating them to believe 
in Christ, who hath died for them. So that what they 
deny in the general, they acknowledge of every particular; 
there being na man to whom they do not preach in order 
to salvation, telling him Jesus Christ calls and wills 
him to believe and be saved; and that if he refuse, he 
shall be condemned, and that his condemnation is of him- 
self. Such is the evidence and virtue of Truth, that it 


constrains its adversaries, even against their wills, to plead 
for it. 

Lastly, That wliich every man is bound to believe, is 
true ; 

Every man is bound to believe that God is merciful unto 

It is therefore true, that God is merciful to every man. 
This assumption no man can deny, seeing his mercies 
are said to be over all his works. And herein the 
Scripture every way declares the mercy of God to be, 
in that he invites and calls sinners to repentance, and 
hath opened a way of salvation for them: so that though 
those men be not bound to believe the history of Christ's 
death and passion who never came to know it, yet they 
ai'e bound to believe that God will be merciful to them, if 
they follow his ways ; and that he is merciful imto them, 
in that he reproves them for evil, and encourages them to 

As it manifestly appears from the thing itself, that these 
good consequences follow from the belief of this doctrine, 
so from the proof of them, it w ill yet more evidently ap- 
pear; to which before I come, it is requisite to speak 
somewhat concerning the state of the controversy, which 
will bring great light to the matter. 

§. XII. First then, by this day and time of visitation, 
which we say God gives unto all, during which they may 
be saved, we do not understand the whole time of every 
man's hfe ; though to some it may be extended to the very 
hour of death, as we see in the example of the thief con- 
verted upon the cross; but such a season at least as suf- 
ficiently exonerateth God of every man's condemnation, 
which to some may be sooner, and to others later, accord- 
ing as the Lord in his wisdom sees meet. 

§. XIII. Secondly, By this seed, grace, and word of 


God, and light wherewith we say every one is enlightened, 
and hath a measure of it, which strives with him in order 
to save him, we understand a spiritual, heavenly, and in- 
visible principle, in which God, as Father, Son, and Spirit, 
dwells; a measure of which divine and glorious life is in all 
men as a seed, which of its own nature draws, invites, and 
inclines to God. This is that Christ within, which we are 
heard so much to speak of, every where preaching him up, 
and exhorting people to believe in the light, and obey it, 
that they may come to know Christ in them, to deliver 
them from all sin. 

But by this, as we do not at all intend to equal ourselves 
to that holy man the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born of 
the virgin Mary, in whom all the fulness of the Godhead 
dwelt bodily, so neither do we destroy the reahty of his 
present existence, as some have falsely calumniated us. 
But, as we believe he was a true and real man, so we also 
believe that he continues so to be, in the heavens, glorified 
in soul and body, by whom God shall judge the world, in 
the great and general day of judgment. 

^. XV. Fourthly, We do not hereby intend any ways 
to lessen or derogate from the sacrifice or propitiation of 
Jesus Christ ; but on the contrary do magnify and exalt it. 
For as we believe all those things to have been certainly 
transacted which are recorded in the holy Scriptures con- 
cerning the birth, life, miracles, sufferings, resurrection, 
and ascension of Christ; so we do also believe that it is 
the duty of every one to believe it to whom it pleases God 
to reveal the same, and to bring to them the knowledge of 
it. Nevertheless as we firmly believe it was necessary 
that Christ should eome, that by his death and sufferings 
he might offer up himself a sacrifice to God for our sins, 
who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree; 
so we believe that the remission of sins which any partjike 


of, is only in and by virtue of that most satisfactory sacri- 
fice, and no otherwise. For it is by the obedience of that 
one that the free gift is come upon all to justification. For 
we aflSrm, that as all men partake of the fruit of Adam's 
fall, in that by reason of that evil seed, which through him 
is communicated unto them, they are prone and inclined 
unto evil, though thousands of thousands be ignorant of 
Adam's fall ; so also many may come to feel the influence 
of this holy and divine seed and light, and be turned from 
evil to good by it, though they know nothing of Christ's 
coming in the flesh, through whose obedience and suffer- 
ings it is purchased unto them. And as we affirm it is 
absolutely needful that those do believe the history of 
Christ's outward appearance whom it hath pleased God to 
bring to the knowledge of it; so we do freely confess, that 
even that outward knowledge is very comfortable to such 
as are subject to and led by the inward seed and light. 

But Fifthly, We have said before that a divine, spiritual, 
and supernatural light is in all men ; that God and Christ 
dwelleth in it, and is never separated from it; also that as 
it is received and closed with in the heart, Christ comes to 
be formed and brought forth : but we are far from ever 
having said that Christ is thus formed in all men, or in the 
wicked. But in regard Christ is in all men as in a seed, 
and that he never is nor can be separate from that holy 
pure seed, and light which is in all men ; therefore may it 
be said in a larger sense, that he is in all. In this respect 
then, as he is in the seed which is in all men, we have said 
Christ is in all men, and have preached and directed all 
men to Christ in them, who lies crucified in them by their 
sins and iniquities, that they may look upon hun whom they 
have pierced, and repent: whereby he that now lies as it 
were slain and buried in them, may come to be raised, 
and have dominion in their hearts over all. And thus 


also the apostle Paul preached to the Corinthians and 
Galatians, 1 Cor. ii. 2. Christ crucified in them *. This 
Jesus Christ the apostle desired to know in them, and 
make known unto tliem, that they might come to be sen- 
sible how they had thus been crucifying Christ, that so 
they might repent and be saved. And forasmuch as Christ 
is called that light that enlightens every man, the hght of 
the world, therefore the light is taken for Christ, who 
truly is the fountain of light, and hath his habitation in it 
for ever. Thus the light of Christ is sometimes called 
Christ, i. e. that in which Christ is, and from which he is 
never separated. 

§. XVI. Sixthly, It will manifestly appear by what is 
above said, that we understand not this divine principle 
to be any part of man's nature, nor yet to be any reliques 
of any good remaining in Adam, after his fall, in that we 
make it a distinct, separate thing from man's soul, and all 
the faculties of it : yet our opponents cease not sometimes 
to calumniate us, as if we preached up a natural hght, or 
the light of man's natural conscience. But we rightly dis- 
tinguish this from man's natural conscience ; for conscience 
beinff that in man which ariseth from the natural faculties 
of man's soul, may be defiled and corrupted. It is said ex- 
pressly of the impure. Tit. i. 15. That even their mind 
and conscience is defiled; but this light can never be cor- 
rupted nor defiled; neither did it ever consent to evil in 
any: for it is said expressly, that it makes all things mani- 
fest that are reprovable, Eph. v. 13. and so is a faithful 
witness for God against every unrighteousness in man. 
Now conscience, to define it truly, comes from conscirc, 
and is that knowledge which ariseth in man's heart, from 
what agreeth, contradicteth, or is contrary to any thing 

• iv vfAii, as the Greek hath it. 


believed by him, whereby he becomes conscious to him- 
self that he transgresseth by doing that which he is per- 
suaded he ought not to do. So that the mind, being once 
Winded or defiled with a wrong belief, there ariseth a con- 
science from that beUef, which troubles him when he goes 
against it. 

Thus then man's natural conscience is sufficiently dis- 
tinguished from it; for conscience foUoweth the judgment, 
doth not inform it; but this light, as it is received, re- 
moves the blindness of the judgment, opens the under- 
standing, and rectifies both the judgment and conscience. 
So we confess also, that conscience is an excellent thing, 
where it is rightly informed and enlightened. To the 
light of Christ then in the conscience, and not to man's 
natural conscience, it is that we continually commend men; 
that, not tliis, is it which we preach up, and direct people to, 
as to a most certain guide unto life eternal. Although there 
be a possibility of salvation to every man, during the day 
of his visitation, yet cannot a man at any time, when he 
pleaseth, or hath some sense of his misery, stir up that 
light and grace, so as to procure to himself tenderness of 
heart ; but he must wait for it : which comes upon all at 
certain times and seasons, wherein it works powerfully 
upon the soul, mightily tenders it, and breaks it; at which 
time, if man resist it not, but close with it, he comes to 
know salvation by it. Thus God moves in love to man- 
kind, in this seed in his heart, at some singular times ; set- 
ting his sins in order before him, and seriously inviting 
him to repentance ; offering to him remission of sins and 
salvation; which if man accept of, he may be saved. Now 
there is no man, who, if he will deal faithfully and honest- 
ly with his own heart, will not be forced to acknowledge 
that he has been sensible of this, in some measure, w hich 
is a thing that man cannot bring upon himself, with all 


his pains and industry. This then, O man or woman ! is 
the day of God's gracious visitation to thy soul, which, if 
thou resist not, thou shalt be happy for ever. 

§. XVII. And lastly. This leads me to speak concern- 
ing the manner of this seed or light's operation in the 
hearts of all men, which will shew yet more manifestly, 
how widely we differ from all those that exalt a natural 
power or light in man; and how our principle leads to 
attribute our whole salvation to the mere power, spirit, 
and grace of God. 

As the grace and light in all is sufficient to save all, and 
of its own nature would save all; so it strives and wrestles 
with all, in order to save them ; he that resists its striving, 
is the cause of his own condemnation; he that resists it 
not, it becomes his salvation : so that in him that is saved, 
the working is of the grace, and not of the man ; and it is 
a passiveness rather than an act; though afterwards, as 
man is wrought upon, there is a will raised in him, by 
which he comes to be a co-worker with the grace. So 
that the first step is not by man's working, but by his not 
contrary working, And we believe, that at these singular 
seasons of every man's visitation, as man is wholly unable 
of himself to work with the grace, neither can he move 
one step out of the natural condition, until the grace lay 
hold upon him; so it is possible for him to be passive, 
and not to resist it, as it is possible for him to resist it. 
So we say, the grace of God works in and upon man's 
nature; which, though of itself wholly corrupted and 
prone to evil, yet is capable to be v/rought upon by the 
grace of God ; even as iron, though a cold and hard metal 
of itself, may be warmed and softened by the heat of the 
fire, and M'ax melted by the sun. And as iron or wax, 
when removed from the fire or sun, returneth to its former 
condition of coldness and hardness; so man's heart, as it 


i'esists or retires from the grace of God, returns to its 
former condition again. 

§. XVIII. Lastly, as we truly affirm that God willeth 
no man to perish, and therefore hath given to all grace suf- 
ficient to salvation; so we do not deny, but that in a spe- 
cial manner he worketh in some, in whom grace so pre- 
vaileth, that they necessarily obtain salvation; neither doth 
God suffer them to resist; but, working in those to whom 
this prevalency of grace is given, doth so hide himselfj 
to shut out all security and presumption, that such may 
be humbled, and the free grace of God magnified, and all 
reputed to be of the free gift, and nothing from the 
strength of self Those also who perish, when they re- 
member those times of God's visitation towards them, 
wherein he wrestled with them by his light and spirit, are 
forced to confess that there was a time, wherein the door 
of mercy was open unto them, and that they are justly 
condemned, because they rejected their own salvation. 

Thus both the mercy and justice of God are established, 
and the will and strength of man are rejected ; his con- 
demnation is made to be of himself, and his salvation to 
depend only upon God. 

§. XIX. Having thus clearly stated the question, and 
opened our mind in this matter, as divers objections are 
hereby prevented, so will it make our proof both the easier 
and the shorter. 

The first thing to be proved is. That God hath given 
to every man a day or time of visitation, wherein it is pos- 
sible for him to be saved. If we can prove that there is 
a day and time given, in which those might have been 
saved that actually perish, the matter is done: for none 
deny but those that are saved have a day of visitation. 
This then appears by the complaints which the Spirit of 
God throughout the whole Scripture makes, even to those 



that did perish ; sharply reproving them, for that they did 
not accept of God's visitation and offer of mercy to them. 
Thus the Lord expresses himself first of all to Cain, Gen. 
iv. 6. 7. " And the Lord said unto Cain, WTiy art thou 
wrath? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest 
well, shalt thou not be accepted ? If thou doest not well, 
sin lieth at the door." This was said to Cain before he 
slew his brother Abel, when the evil seed began to tempt 
him, and work in his heart. We see how God gave warn- 
ing to Cain in season, and afforded him a day of visitation, 
promising remission if he did well: for this interrogation, 
Shalt thou not be accepted? imports an affirmative, Thou 
shalt be accepted, if thou doest well. So that if we may 
trust God Almighty, the fountain of all truth, it was pos- 
sible at one time, even for Cain to be accepted. Neither 
could God have proposed the doing of good as a con- 
dition, if he had not given Cain sufficient strength, whereby 
he was capable to do good. This the Lord himself also 
shews, even that he gave a day of visitation to the old 
world, Gen. vi. o. " And the Lord said. My Spirit shall 
not always strive in man*;" for so it ought to be translated. 
This manifestly implies, that his Spirit did strive with man, 
and doth strive with him for a season ; which season ex- 
piring, God ceaseth to strive with him, in order to save 
him : for the Spirit of God cannot be said to strive with 
man after the day of his visitation is expired : seeing it 
naturally works its effect then, to wit, continually to judge 
and condemn him. 

If God plead with the wicked, from the possibility of 
their being accepted ; if God's Spirit strive in them for a 
season, in order to save them, who afterwards perish; if 
he wait to be gracious unto them ; if he be long-suffering 


towards them; and if this long-sufFeiing be salvation to 
them while it endureth, during which time God willeth 
them not to perish, but exhibiteth to them the riches of 
his goodness and forbearance to lead them to repentance ; 
then there is a day of visitation wherein they might have 
been, and now many might be, saved, who have perished, 
and may perish, if they repent not. 

§. XX. So it is, after real offers of mercy and salvation 
rejected, that men's hearts are hardened, and not before. 
Thus that saying is verified, " To him that hath, shall be 
given; and from him that hath not, shall be taken away 
even that which he hath." 

§. XXI. Secondly, that which comes in the second 
place to be proved is, That whereby God offers to work 
this salvation during the day of every man's visitation; and 
that is, That he hath given to every man a measure of 
saving and supernatural light and grace. This I shall do 
by some plain testimonies of the Scripture. 

First, from that of John, i. 9. " That was the true light, 
which licrhteth everv man that cometh into the world." 
This place doth so clearly favour iis, that by some it is 
called the Quakers' text ; for it doth evidently demonstrate 
our assertion; so that it scarce needs either consequence 
or deduction, seeing itself is a consequence of two propo- 
sitions asserted in the former verses, from which it follow- 
eth as a conclusion in the very terms of our faith. The 
first of these propositions is, The life that is in him is the 
light of men: the second, The light shineth in the dark- 
ness; and from these two he infers, and He is the true 
light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the 

From whence I observe. That this divine apostle calls 
Christ the light of men, and giveth us this as one of the 
chief properties, especially to be observed by us; seeing 

G 2 


hereby, as he is the light, and as we walk with him in that 
light which he communicates to us, we come to have fel- 
lowship with him; as the same apostle saith elsewhere, 
1 John, i. 7. Secondly, That this light shineth in dark- 
ness, though the darkness comprehend it not. Thirdly, 
That this true light enlighteneth every man that cometh 
into the world. Where the apostle, being directed by 
God's Spirit, hath carefully avoided their captiousness, 
that would have restricted this to any certain number: 
where every one is, there is none excluded. Next, should 
they be so obstinate, as to say that this everi/ man is 
only every one of the elect; these words following, every 
man that cometh into the world, would obviate that objec- 
tion. Now for what end this light is given, is expressed 
verse 7. where John is said to come for a witness, to bear 
witness to the light, that all men through it might believe; 
to wit, through the light *. For, seeing Christ hath light- 
ed every man with this light, is it not that they may come 
to believe through it? Since then this light is the light 
of Jesus Christ, and the light through which men come 
to believe, I think it needs not to be doubted, but that it 
is a supernatural, saving, and sufficient light. If it were 
not supernatural, it could not be properly called the light, 
of Jesus ; for though all things be his, and of him, and 
from him; yet those things which are common to our 
nature, as being a part of it, we are not said in so special 
a manner to have from Christ. Moreover, tlie evangelist 
is holding out to us here the office of Christ as mediator, 
and the benefits which from him as such do redound 
unto us. 

Secondly, It cannot be any of the natural gifts or facul- 
ties of our soul, whereby we are said here to be enlighten- 


etl, because this light is said to shine in the darkness, and 
cannot be comprehended by it. Now this darkness is no 
other but man's natural state ; in which natural state he 
can easily comprehend, and doth comprehend, those 
things tliat are peculiar to him as such. That man in his 
natural condition is called darkness, see Eph. v. 8. "For 
ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the 
Lord." And in other places, as Acts xxvi. 18. Col. i. 3. 
I Thess. v. 5. where the condition of man in his natural state 
is termed darkness: therefore I say this light cannot be 
any natural faculty of man's soul, but a supernatural gift 
and grace of Christ. 

Thirdly, It is sufficient and saving. 

That which is given that all men through it may believe, 
mvist needs be saving and sufficient: that, by walking in 
which, fellowship with the saints and the blood of Christ, 
which cleanseth from all sin, is possessed, must be suffi- 

Moreover; That which we are commanded to believe 
in, that we may become the children of the Light, must be 
a supernatural, sufficient, and saving principle. — " While 
ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be 
the children of the light," John xii. 36. 

To this they object, That by light here is understood 
Christ's outward person, in whom he would have them 

That they ought to have believed in Christ, that is, that 
he was the Messiah that was to come, is not denied; but 
how they evince that Christ intended that here, I see not : 
nay the place itself shews the contrary, by these words, 
While ye have the hght; and by the verse going before, 
Walk while ye have the hght, lest darkness come upon 
you: which words import, that when that light in which 
they were to beheve was removed, then they should lose 


the capacity of believing. Now this could not be under- 
stood of Christ's person, else the Jews might have be- 
lieved in him; and many did savingly beheve in him, as 
all Christians do at this day, when his bodily presence is 
far removed from them. So that this light in which they 
were commanded to believe, must be that inward spiritual 
light that shines in their hearts for a season, even during 
the day of man's visitation; which while it continueth to 
invite, and exhort, men are said to have it, and may be- 
lieve in it; but when men refuse to believe in it, and re- 
ject it, then it ceaseth to be a hght to shew them the 
way; but leaves the sense of their unfaithfulness as a 
sting in their conscience, which is a terror and darkness 
unto them, in which they cannot know where to go, nei- 
ther can work any ways profitably in order to their salva- 
tion. And therefore to such rebellious ones the day of the 
Lord is said to be darkness, and not Ught, Amos v. IS. 

§. XXII. That this saving light and seed, or a measure 
of it, is given to all, Christ tells us expressly in the para- 
ble of the sower, Mat. xiii. from verse 18. Mark iv. and 
Luke viii. 11. he saith, That this seed sown in those seve- 
ral sorts of ground is the word of the kingdom, which 
the apostle calls the word of faith, Rom. x. 8. James i. 21 *. 
the implanted ingrafted word, which is able to save the 
soul; the words themselves declare that it is that which is 
saving in the nature of it, for in the good ground it fructi- 
fied abundantly. 

Let us then observe, that this seed of the kingdom, this 
saving, supernatural, and sufficient word, was really sown 
in the stony, thorny ground, and by the way-side, where 
it did not profit, but became useless as to these grounds : 
it was, I say, the same seed that was sown in the good 

* Koyos t//,f J)o5. 


grouiul. So that though all are not saved by it, yet there 
is a seed of salvation planted in the hearts of all by God, 
which would grow up and redeem the soul, if it were not 
choked and hindered. x\nd to this answered the parable 
of the talents, Mat. xxv. he that had two talents was ac- 
cepted, as well as he that had five, because he used them 
to his master's profit ; and he that had one might have 
done so; his talent was of the same nature with the rest; 
it was as capable to have proportionably brought forth its 
interest as the rest. And so though there be not a like 
proportion of grace given to all, to some five talents, to 
some two talents, and to some but one talent; yet there is 
given to all that which is sufficient, and no more is re- 
quired than according to that which is given: " For imto 
whomsoever much is given, from him shall much be re- 
quired," Luke xii. 48. He that had the two talents was 
accepted for giving four, nothing less than he that gave 
the ten: so should he also that had the one, if he had 
given two ; and no doubt one was capable to have pro- 
duced two, as well as two to have produced fom*, or five 

§. XXIII. Thirdly, this saving, spiritual light is the 
gospel, which the apostle saith expressly is preached in 
every creature under heaven; even that very gospel 
whereof Paul was made a minister, Col i. 23. For the 
gospel is not a mere declaration of good things, being the 
power of God imto salvation to all those that believe, 
Rom. i. 16. Though the outward declaration of the gos- 
pel be taken sometimes for the gospel; yet it is but figura- 
tively. For to speak properly, the gospel is this inward 
power and hfe, which preacheth glad tidings in the hearts 
of all men, offering salvation unto them, and seeking to 
redeem them from their iniquities, and therefore it is said 
to be preached in every creature under heaven: whereas 


there are many thousands of men and women to whom 
the outward gospel was never preached. Therefore the 
apostle Paul, Romans i. where he saith the gospel is the 
power of God unto salvation, adds, that therein is re- 
vealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; and 
also the wrath of God against such as hold the truth of 
God in unrighteousness: for this reason, saith he, be- 
cause that which may be known of God is manifest in them; 
for God hath shown it unto them. Now that which may 
be known of God, is known by the gospel, which was 
manifest in them. For those of whom the apostle speaks 
liad no outward gospel preached unto them; so that it 
was by the inward manifestation of the knowledge of God 
in them, which is indeed the gospel preached in man, that 
the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; 
that is, it reveals to the soul that which is good and righ- 
teous; and that as the soul receiveth it and believes, righ- 
teousness comes more and more to be revealed from one 
degree of faith to another. For though the outward cre- 
ation declares the power of God ; yet that which may be 
known of him is manifest within: by which inward mani- 
festation we are made capable to discern the Eternal 
Power and Godhead in the outward creation ; so were it 
not for this inward principle, we could no more under- 
stand the invisible things of God by the outward visible 
creation, than a blind man can discern the variety of 
shapes and colours, or judge of the beauty of the outward 
creation. Therefore he saith, first. That which may be 
known of God is manifest in them, and in and by that they 
may understand the power of the Godhead in those 
things that are outward and visible. And though any 
might pretend that the outward creation doth of itself, 
without any supernatural or saving principle in the heart, 
even declare to the natural man that there is a God ; yet 


what would such a knowledge avail, if it did not also com- 
Municate to me what the will of God is, and how I shall 
do that which is acceptable to him? For the outward 
creation, though it may beget a persuasion that there is 
some eternal power by which the world hath had its be-^ 
ginning ; yet it doth not inform me of that which is holy 
and righteous ; how I shall be delivered fiom my tempta- 
tions and evil affections, and come unto righteousness; 
that must be from some inward manifestation in my heart. 
Whereas those Gentiles of whom the apostle speaks, knew, 
by that inward law and manifestation of the knowledge of 
God in them, to distinguish betwixt good and evil. The 
prophet Micah, speaking of man indefinitely, or in gene- 
ral, declares this, Mic. vi. 8. " He hath shewed thee, O 
man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of 
thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk 
humbly with thy God?" He doth not say God requii'es, 
till he hath first assured that he hath shewed imto 
them. Now because this is shewed unto all men, and 
manifest in them, therefore, saith the apostle, is the wrath 
of God revealed against them, for that they hold the 
truth in unrighteousness ; that is, the measure of truth, 
the light, the grace in them: for that they hide the talent 
in the earth ; that is, in the earthly and umighteous part 
in their hearts, and suffer it not to bring forth fruit, but to 
be choked with the sensual cares of this life, the fear of 
reproach, and the deceitfulness of riches. But the apostle 
Paul illustrates this matter yet more, Rom. x. where he 
declares. That the word which he preached (now the 
word which he preached, and the gospel which he preach- 
ed, and whereof he was a minister, is one and the same) 
is not far off, but nigh in the heart, and in the mouth ; 
which done, he frameth, as it were, the objection of our 
opponents, in the 14th and 15th verses, " How shall they 


believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how 
shall they hear without a preacher?" This he answers in 
the 18th verse, saying, " But, I say, have they not heard? 
Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their 
words unto the ends of the world;" whence it appears 
that this divine preacher had sounded in the ears and 
hearts of all men: for of the apostles that saying was not 
true, neither then, nor many hundred years after; yea, 
for aught we know, there may be yet great and spacious 
nations and kingdoms that never have heard of Christ nor 
his apostles. This inward and powerful word of God is 
yet more fully described in the epistle to the Hebrews, 
chap. iv. 12. 13. "For the word of God is quick and 
powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, pierc- 
ing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and 
of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the 
thoughts and intents of the heart." The virtues of this 
spiritual word are here enumerated : it is quick, because 
it searches and tries the hearts of all ; no man's heart is 
exempt from it: for the apostle gives this reason of its 
being so in the following verse, " But all things are naked 
and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to 
do: and there is not any creature that is not manifest in 
his sight." Though this ultimately and mediately be re- 
ferred to God, yet nearly and immediately it relates to the 
word or light, which is in the hearts of all, else it had 
been improper to have brought it in here. The apostle 
shews how every intent and thought of the heart is dis- 
cerned by the word of God, because all things are naked 
before God ; which imports nothing else but it is in and 
by this word whereby God sees man's thoughts; and so 
it must needs be in all men, because the apostle saith, 
there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight. This 
then is that faithful witness and messenger pf God that 


bears witness for God, and for his righteousness, in the 
hearts of all men: for he hath not left himself without a 
witness, Acts xiv. 17. and he is said to be given for a wit- 
ness to the people, Isa. Iv. 4. And as this word beareth 
witness for God, so it is not placed in men only to con- 
demn them: for as he is given for a witness, so saith the 
prophet, he is given for a leader and commander. 

§. XXIV. The third proposition which ought to be 
proved is, That it is by this light, seed, or grace, that God 
works the salvation of all men, and that they come to par- 
take of the benefit of Christ's death, and salvation pur- 
chased by him. By the inward and effectual operations of 
which, as many heathens have come to be partakers of the 
promises who were not of the seed of Abraham after the 
flesh, so may some now, to whom God hath rendered the 
knowledge of the history impossible, come to be saved by 
Christ. For the farther satisfaction of all who desire to 
know the truth, and hold it as it is in Jesus, I shall prove 
this from two or three clear Scripture testimonies, and re- 
move the most common as well as the more strong objec- 
tions usually brought against it. 

Our theme then hath two parts; First, That those that 
have the gospel and Christ outwardly preached unto them, 
are not saved but by the working of the grace and light in 
their hearts. 

Secondly, That by the working and operation of this, 
many have been, and some may be saved, to whom the 
gospel hath never been outwardly preached, and who are 
utterly ignorant of the outward history of Christ. 

As to the first, though it be granted by most, yet be- 
cause it is more in words than deeds, I shall prove it in 
few words. And first from the words of Christ to Nico- 
demus, John iii. 3. " Verily, verily I say unto thee, except 
a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 


Now this birth cometh not by the outward preaching of 
the gospel, or knowledge of Christ, or historical faith in 
him ; seeing many have that, and firmly believe it, who are 
never thus renewed. The apostl Paul also goes so far, 
while he commends the necessity and excellency of this 
new creation, as in a certain respect to lay aside the out- 
ward knowledge of Christ, or the knowledge of him after 
the flesh, in these words, 2 Cor. v. 16, 17. "Wherefore 
henceforth know we no man after the flesh ; yea, though 
we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth 
know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, 
he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold 
all things are become new." But such as come to know 
this new birth, to be in Christ indeed, to be a new crea- 
ture, to have old things pass away, and all things become 
new, may safely say with the apostle, " Though we have 
known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we 
him no more." Now this new creature proceeds from the 
work of this light and grace in the heart : that word which 
we speak of, is sharp and piercing, the implanted word, 
able to save the soul, by which this birth is begotten; 
■ ' being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incor- 
ruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for 
ever," 1. Pet. i. ^3. 

§. XXV. Secondly, that which remains now to be 
proved is, That by the operation of this light and seed 
some have been and may yet be saved, to whom the gospel 
is not outwardly preached, nor the history of Christ out- 
wardly known. To make this the easier, we have already 
shewn that Christ hath died for all men ; and consequently 
these are enlightened by Christ, and have a measure 
of saving light and grace; that the gospel, though not 
in any outward dispensation, is preached to them, and 
in them ; so that thereby they are placed in a possibility pjf 
salvation. From which I thus argue. 


To whom the gospel, the power of God unto salvation, 
is manifest, they may be saved, whatever outward know- 
ledge they want : 

But this gospel is preached in every creature ; in which 
are certainly comprehended many that have not the out- 
ward knowledge: 

Therefore of those many may be saved. 

But to those arguments, by which it hath been proved, 
That all men have a measure of saving grace, I shall add 
one, and that very worthy of observation, viz. that excel- 
lent saying of the apostle Paul to Titus, chap. ii. ver. 11. 
" The grace of God, that brings salvation, hath appeared 
to all men; teaching us, that denying ungodliness and 
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and 
godly, in this present world:" than which there can be no- 
thing more clear, it comprehending both the parts of the 
controversy. First, It testifies that it is no natural prin- 
ciple or light, but saith plainly, It brings salvation. Se- 
condly, It says not, that it hath appeared to a few, but unto 
all men. The fruit of it declares also how efficacious it is, 
seeing it comprehends the whole duty of man: it both 
teacheth us, first, to forsake evil; and then it teacheth us 
our whole duty. Fu'st, to Uve Soberly; that comprehends 
temperance, chastity, meekness, and those things that re- 
late unto a man's self. Secondly, Righteously ; that com- 
prehends equity, justice, and honesty, and those things 
which relate to our neighbours. And lastly, Godly ; which 
comprehends piety, faithfulness, and devotion, which are 
the duties relating to God. So then there is nothing re- 
quired of man, or is needful to man, which this grace 
teacheth not. Some, that cannot deny but this grace is 
saving allege. This all comprehends not every individual, 
but only all kinds: but is a bare negation sufficient to over- 
turn the strength of a positive assertion? If the Scriptures 


may be so abused, what so absurd, as may not be pleaded 
for from them? or what so manifest, as may not be denied? 
Can there be any thing more absurd, than to say, where 
the word is plainly all, few only is intended ? For they will 
not have all taken here for the greater number. Indeed, 
as the case may be sometimes, by a figure all may be taken, 
of two numbers, for the greater number; but let them shew 
us, if they can, either in Scripture, or profane writings, 
that any man that wrote sense did ever use the word all, 
to express, of two numbers, the lesser. Whereas they 
affirm, that the far lesser number have received saving 
grace, and yet will they have the apostle, by all, to have 
signified so. Though this might suffice, yet, to put it 
further beyond all question, I shall instance another saying 
of the same apostle, that we may use him as his own com- 
mentator, Rom. v. 18. "Therefore as by the offence of 
one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even 
so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon 
all men unto justification of life." Here no man of reason 
will deny, but this simihtive particle as makes the all which- 
goes before, and comes after, to be of one and the same 
extent; or else let them shew one example, either in 
Scripture, or elsewhere, among men that speak proper lan- 
guage, where it is otherwisCr We must then either affirm- 
that this loss, which leads to condemnation, hath not come 
upon all; or say, that this free gift is come upon all by 
Christ. Whence I thus argue: 

If all men have received a loss from Adam, which leads 
to condemnation; then all men have received a gift from 
Christ which leads to justification. 

From all which it naturally follows, that all men, even 
the heathens, may be saved : for Christ was given as a 
light to enlighten the Gentiles, Isa. xlix. G. Now, to say 
that though they might have been saved, yet none were, is 


to judge too uncharitably. I sec not what reason can be 
alleged for it ; yea, though it were granted, which never 
can be, that none of the heathens were saved ; it will not 
from thence follow, that they could not have been saved; 
or that none now in their condition can be saved. For, 
That consequence is false that concludes a thing cannot 
be, because it is not *. 

But if it be objected, which is the great objection, That 
there is no name under heaven, by which salvation is 
kno^vn, but by the name Jesus: 

Therefore they (not knowing this) cannot be saved : 

I answer; Though they know it not outwardly, yet if 
they know it inwardly, by feeling the virtues and power of 
it, the name Jesus indeed, which signifies a Saviour, to 
free them from sin and iniquity in their hearts, they are 
saved by it. I confess there is no other name to be 
saved by : but salvation lieth not in the literal, but in the 
experunental knowledge ; albeit, those that have the literal 
knowledge are not saved by it, without this real experi- 
mental knowledge : yet those that have the real knowledge 
may be saved without the external. 

§. XXVI. If there were such an absolute necessity for 
this outward knowledge, that it were even of the essentials 
of salvation, then none could be saved without it ; whereas 
our opponents deny not, but readily confess, that many in- 
fants and deaf persons are saved without it: so that here 
they break that general rule, and make salvation possible 
without it. Neither can they allege, that it is because such 
are free from sin; seeing they also affirm, that all infants, 
because of Adam's sin, deserve eternal condemnation, as 
being really guilty in the sight of God ; and of deaf peo- 
ple, it is not to be doubted, and experience shews us, that 

• A non esse ad non posse nou datur sequela. 


they are subject to many common iniquities, as well as 
other men. 

If it be said, That these children are the children of be- 
lieving parents : 

What then? They will not say that they transmit grace 
to their children. Do they not affirm, that the children 
of believing parents are guilty of original sin, and deserve 
death as well as others ? How prove they that that makes 
up the loss of all explicit knowledge? 

If they say, Deaf people may be made sensible of the 
gospel by signs: 

All the signs cannot give them any explicit knowledge 
of the history of the death, sufferings, and resurrection of 
Christ. For what signs can inform a deaf man, That the 
Son of God took on him man's nature, was born of a virgin, 
and suffered under Pontius Pilate? 

And if they should further allege. That they are within 
the bosom of the visible church, and partakers of the sa- 
craments : 

All that gives no certainty of salvation; for, as the Pro- 
testants confess, they confer not grace from any act done *. 
And will they not acknowledge, that many are in the bosom 
of the church, who are visibly no members of it? But if 
this charity be extended towards such as are where the 
gospel is preached, so that they may be judged capable of 
salvation, because they are under a simple impossibility of 
distinctly knowing the means of salvation; what reason can 
be alleged why the like charity may not be had to such, 
as though they can hear, yet are under a simple impossi- 
bility of hearing, because it is not spoken unto them ? Is 
not a man in China, or in India, as much to be excused for 
not knowing a thing which he never heard of, as a deaf 

• Ex operc operate. 


man here, who cannot hear? For as the deaf man is not 
to be blamed, because God hath been pleased to suffer 
him to lie under this infirmity ; so is the Chinese or the 
Indian as excusable, because God hath withheld from him 
the opportunity of hearing. He that cannot hear a 
thing, as being necessarily absent, and he that cannot hear 
it, as being naturally deaf, are to be placed in the same 

Secondly, This manifestly appears by that saying of 
Peter, Acts x. 31<. " Of a truth I perceive that God is no 
respecter of persons ; but in every nation, he that feareth 
liim, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him." 
Peter was before liable to that mistake that the rest of the 
Jews were in; judging that all were unclean, except them- 
selves, and that no man could be saved, except he was pro- 
selyted to their rehgion, and circumcised. But God 
shewed Peter otherwise in a vision, and taught him to call 
nothing common or unclean; and therefore, seeing that 
God regarded the prayers of Cornelius, who was a stran- 
ger to the law and to Jesus Christ as to the outward, yet 
Peter saw that God had accepted him; and he is said to 
fear God before he had this outward knowledge; there- 
fore Peter concludes that every one in every nation, with- 
out respect of persons, that feareth God and worketh 
righteousness, is accepted of him. So he makes the fear 
of God and the working of righteousness, and not an out- 
ward histoncal knowledge, the quahflcation : they then 
that have this, wherever they be, are saved. Now we have 
already proved, that to every man that grace is given, 
whereby he may live godlily and righteously; and we see, 
that by this grace Cornelius did so, and was accepted, and 
his prayers were heard before he had this outward know- 
ledge. Also, Was not Job a perfect and upright man, 
that feared God, and eschewed evil? AVho taught Job 

9S PRoposrTroxs v. and vi. 

this? How knew Job Adam's fall? And from wliat 
Scripture learned he that excellent knowledge he had, 
and that faith, by which he knew his Redeemer lived ? 
Was not this by an inward grace in the heart? Was it 
not that inward grace that taught Job to eschew evil, and 
to fear God? And was it not by the workings thereof 
that he became a just man? How doth he reprove the 
wickedness of men, chap. xxiv. ? And after he hath num- 
bered up their wickedness, doth he not condemn them, 
verse 13. for rebelling against this light, for not knowing 
the way thereof, nor abiding in the paths thereof? It ap- 
pears then Job believed that men had a light, and that 
because they rebelled against it, therefore they knew not 
its ways, and abode not in its paths. And also Job's 
friends, though in some things wrong; yet who taught 
them all those excellent sayings and knowledge which they 
had ? Did not God give it them, in order to save them ? 
or was it merely to condemn them ? Who taught Elihu, 
That the inspiration of the Almighty giveth understand- 
ing; that the Spirit of God made him, and the breath of 
the Almighty gave him life? And did not the Lord ac- 
cept a sacrifice for them? And who dare say that they 
are damned ? But further, the apostle puts this contro- 
versy out of doubt; for, if we may believe his plain asser- 
tions, he tells us, Rom. ii. That the heathens did the 
things contained in the law. From whence I thus 
argue ; 

In every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh 
righteousness, is accepted : 

But many of the heathens feared God, and wrought 
righteousness : 

Therefore they were accepted. 

Further; He that doth the things contained in the law, 
feareth God, and worketh righteousness: 


But the heathens did the tilings contained in the 

Therefore tliey feared God, and wrought righteous- 

Can there be any thing more clear Z For if to do the 
thhigs contained in the law, be not to fear God, and work 
righteousness, then what can be said to do so, seeing the 
apostle calls the law spiritual, holy, just, and good? But 
this appears manifestly by another medium, taken out of 
the same chapter, ver. 13. So that nothing can be more 
clear: the words are, " Tlie doers of the law shall be 
justified. From which I thus argue, without adding any 
word of my own ; 

The doers of the law shall be justified : 
But the Gentiles do the things contained in the law : 
All, that know but a conclusion, do easily see what fol- 
lows from these express words of the apostle. And in- 
deed, he through that whole chapter labours as if he were 
contending with our opponents to confirm this doctrine, 
ver. 9, 10, 11. " Tribulation and anguish upon every soul 
of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first, and also to the 
Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God." 
Where the apostle clearly confesses to the sentence of 
Peter before-mentioned ; and shews that Jew and Gentile, 
both they that have an outward law, and they that have 
none, when they do good, shall be justified. And to put 
us out of all doubt, in the very following verses he tells. 
That the doers of the law are justified; and that the 
Gentiles did the law. So that except we think he spake 
not what he intended, we may safely conclude, that such 
Gentiles were justified, and did partake of that glory and 
peace, which comes upon every one that doeth good ; even 
the Gentiles, that are without the law, when they work 
good ; seeing with God there is no respect of persons. So 

11 2 


we see, that it is not the having the outward knowledge 
that doth save, without the inward; so neither doth the 
want of it condemn any one, who hath the inward. 

§. XXVIII. Seeing then it is by this inward grace and 
light, that those that hare the gospel preached unto them, 
eome to have Jesus brought forth in them, and to have the 
saving and sanctified use of all outward advantages ; and 
also by this same light, that all may come to be saved ; and 
that God invites and strives with all, in a day, and saveth 
many, to whom he hath not seen meet to convey this out- 
ward knowledge; therefore we, having the experience of 
the inward and powerful work of this light in our hearts, 
even Jesus revealed in us, cannot cease to proclaim the 
day of the Lord that is arisen in it, crying out with the 
woman of Samaria ; " Come and see one that hath told me 
all that ever I have done ; Is not this the Christ ?" That 
others may come and feel the same in themselves> and may 
know, that that Uttle small seed that reproves them in their 
hearts, however they have despised it, is nothing less than 
the gospel preached in them ; Christ, the wisdom and power 
of God, in and by that seed seeking to save their souls. 

This is that universal evangelical principle, in and by 
which this salvation of Christ is exhibited to all men, botli 
Jew and Gentile, Turk, Scythian, and Barbarian ; and 
therefore God hath raised up unto himself, in this our 
age, faithful witnesses to preach again his everlasting 
gospel, and to direct all, as well the high professors, who 
boast of the law and the Scriptures, and the outward 
knowledge of Christ, as the infidels and heathens that 
know him not that way, that they may all come to mind 
the light in them, and know Christ in them, the just one*, 
whom they have killed, and he hath not resisted, James 

TOV Ot>lXtOv> 


V. G, and give up their iniciuities, false faith, and outside 
righteousness, to be crucified by the power of his cross in 
them, so as they may know Christ within to be the hope of 
glory, and may come to walk in his light and be saved, who 
is that " true light that cnhghteneth every man that cometh 
into the world." 


Concerning Justijication. 

As many as resist not this light, but receive the same, it 
becomes in them a holy and spiritual birth, bringing 
forth holiness, righteousness, and all those other blessed 
fruits which are acceptable to God: by which holy 
birth, to wit, Jesus Christ formed wthin us, and work- 
ing his works in us, as we are sanctified, so are we 
justified in the sight of God, according to the apostle's 
words ; " But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but 
ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by 
the Spirit of our God," 1 Cor. vi. 11. Therefore it is 
not by our works wrought in our will, nor yet by good 
works considered as of themselves ; but by Christ, who 
is both the gift and the giver, and the cause producing 
the eiFects in us ; who, as he hath reconciled us while we 
were enemies, doth also in his wisdom save us and justify 
us after this manner, as saith the same apostle elsewhere; 
" According to liis mercy he saved us, by the washing 
of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost," 
Tit. iii. 5. 


§. I. The doctrine of justification comes well in order 
after the discussing of the extent of Christ's death, and of 
the grace thereby communicated, some of the sharpest 
contests concerning this having from tlience their rise. 

§. Ill, First then, we renounce all natural power in 
ourselves, in order to bring us out of our lost and fallen 
condition and first natui'e ; and confess, that as of ourselves 
we are able to do nothing that is good, so neither can we 
procure remission of sins or justification by any act of our 
own, so as to merit it, or draw it as a debt from God due 
unto us ; but we acknowledge all to be of and from his 
love, which is the fundamental cause of our acceptance. 

Secondly, God manifested this love towards us, in the 
sending of his beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ into the 
world, who gave himself for us an offering and a sacrifice 
to God, for a sweet-smelling savour, having made peace 
through the blood of his cross, that he might reconcile 
us unto himself; and by the Eternal Spirit offered himself 
without spot unto God, and suffered for our sins, the just 
for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God. 

Thirdly then, Forasmuch as all men who have come to 
man's estate, (the man Jesus only excepted) have sinned, 
therefore all have need of this Saviour, to remove from 
them the wrath of God due to their offences ; in this 
respect he is truly said to have borne the iniquities of 
us all in his body on the tree, and therefore is the only 
Mediator, having averted the wrath of God from us ; so 
that our former sins stand not in our way, being by virtue 
of his most satisfactory sacrifice removed and pardoned. 
Neither do we think that remission of sins is to be ex- 
pected or obtained any other way, or by any works or 
sacrifice Avhatsoever ; though, as has been said, they may 
come to partake of this remission that are ignorant of the 

OF JtbTlFlCATlON. 103 

liistdvy. So then Christ by liis death and snfterings hath 
reconciled us to God, even while we were enemies; that 
is, he offers reconciliation unto us ; we are put into a capa- 
city of being reconciled; God is wilUng to forgive us our 
iniquities, and to accept us, as is well expressed by the 
apostle, 2 Cor. v. 19. *' God was in Christ reconciling the 
world unto himself, not miputing their trespasses unto 
them, and hath put in us the word of reconcihation." 
And therefore the apostle intreats them in Christ's stead 
to be reconciled to God ; intimating that the wrath of God 
being removed by the obedience of Christ Jesus, he is 
willing to be reconciled unto them, and ready to remit the 
sins that are past, if they repent. 

We consider then our redemption in a two-fold respect, 
both which in their own nature are perfect, though in their 
apphcation to us the one is not, nor can be, without respect 
to the other. 

The First is the redemption accomplished by Christ for 
us in his crucified body without us : the other is the re- 
demption wrought by Christ in us, which no less properly 
is called and accounted a redemption than the former. 
The first then is that whereby a man, as he stands in the 
fall, is put into a capacity of salvation, and hath conveyed 
unto him a measure of that power, hfe, and grace that was 
in Christ Jesus, which, as the free gift of God, is able to 
overcome, and root out the evil seed, wherewith we are 
naturally, as in the fall, leavened. 

The, Second is that whereby we witness this perfect 
redemption in ourselves, purifying and redeeming us from 
the power of corruption, and bringing us mto unity and 
friendship with God. By the first of these two, we that 
were lost in Adam, plimged into the corrupt seed, unable 
of ourselves to do any good thing, but naturally united to 
evil, propense to all iniquity, servants to the power of 


darkness, are, notwithstanding all this, so far reconciled to 
God by the death of his Son, while enemies, that we are 
put into a capacity of salvation, having the glad tidings of 
the gospel of peace offered unto us, and God is reconciled 
unto us in Christ, and invites us to himself, in which re- 
spect we understand these Scriptures; " He slew the 
enmity in himself. He loved us first; seeing us in our 
blood, he said unto us. Live ; he who did not sin his own 
self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree; and he 
died for our sins, the just for the unjust." 

By the Second, we witness this capacity brought into act, 
whereby receiving and not resisting the purchase of his 
death, to wit, the light, spirit, and grace of Christ revealed 
in us, we witness a real and inward redemption from the 
power of sin, and so come to be truly redeemed and made 
righteous, and to a sensible union with God. Thus he 
died for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity; 
and thus we know bim and the power of his resurrection, 
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comform- 
able to his death. This last follows the first in order, and 
is a consequence of it, as an effect from its cause: so as none 
could have enjoyed the lust without the first had been, 
such being the will of God ; so also can none now partake 
of the first, but as he witnesseth the last. Wherefore as to 
us, they arc both causes of our justification; the first the 
procuring efficient, the other the formal cause. 

Fourthly, We understand not by this justification by 
Christ, barely the good works even wrought by the Spirit 
of Christ; for they are rather an effect of justification than 
the cause of it ; but we understand the formation of Christ 
in us, Christ born and brought forth in us, from which good 
works as naturally proceed as fruit from a fruitfid tree. It 
is this inward birth in us, bringing forth righteousness and 
holiness in us, that dolh justify u.-r; ; which, havhig removed 



the contrary nature and spirit that did bear rule and bring 
condemnation, now is in dominion over all in our hearts. 
Those then that come to know Christ thus formed in 
tliem, do enjoy him wholly and undivided, who is " the 
LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS," Jer. xxiii. C. This is 
to be clothed with Christ, and to have put him on, whom 
God therefore truly accounteth righteous and just. Thus 
then, the formal cause* of justification is not the works, to 
speak properly, they being but an effect of it ; but this in- 
ward birth, this Jesus brought forth in the heart, who is 
the well-beloved, whom the Father cannot but accept, and 
all those who are thus sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, 
and washed with it. By this also comes that commvmica- 
tion of the goods of Christ unto us, by which we come to 
be made partakers of the divine nature, as saith Peter, 
ii Pet. i. 4. and are made one with him, as the branches 
M'ith the vine, and have a title to what he hath done and 
suffered for us; so that his obedience becomes ours, his 
rigliteousness ours, his death and sufferings ours. 

Lastly, Though we place remission of sins in the righte- 
ousness and obedience of Christ performed by him in the 
flesh, as to what pertains to the reinote procuring cause, 
and that we hold ourselves formally justified by Christ 
Jesus formed and brought forth in us, yet can we not, as 
some Protestants have unwarily done, exclude works from 
justification. For though properly we be not justified 
from them, yet are we justified in them; and they are ne- 
cessary, even as the cause, without which none are justi- 
fied t. For the denying of this, as it is contrary to the 
Scriptures' testimony, so it hath brought a great scandal 

" By auhstituting csxcntial for fvrnial, (though not strictly synoii moiis,) 
the meaning of the author might pcrliaps be rendered dearer. — Sec Note 
III pa^c 8. J. Y,. 

-)■ Causa sine i|ua uon. 


to the Protestant religion, opened the mouths of Papists, 
and made many too secure, while they have believed them- 
selves justified without good works. And lastly, if we had 
that notion of good works which most Protestants have, 
we could freely agree to make them not only not neces- 
sary, but reject them as hurtful, viz. That the best works 
even of the saints are defiled and polluted. For though 
we judge so of the best works performed by man, endea- 
vouring a conformity to the outward law by his own 
streno-th, and in his own will, yet we beheve that such 
works as naturally proceed from this spiritual birth of 
Christ in us are pure and holy, even as the root from which 
they come; and therefore God accepts them, justifies us in 
them, and rewards us for them out of his own free grace. 
The state of the controversy being thus laid down, these 
following positions do from hence arise in the next place 
to be proved. 

^. IV. First, That the obedience, sufferings, and death 
of Christ, is that by which the soul obtains remission of 
sins, and is the procuring cause of that grace, by whose 
inward working Christ comes to be formed inwardly, and 
the soul to be made conformable unto him, and so just 
and justified. And that therefore, in respect of this capa- 
city and offer of gi'ace, God is said to be reconciled ; not 
as if he were actually reconciled, or did actually justify, or 
accovmt any just, so long as he remains in his sins really 
impure and unjust. 

Secondly, That it is by this inward birth of Christ in 
man that man is made just, and therefore so accounted by 
God : wherefore, to be plain, we are thereby, and not till 
that be brought forth in us, formally, if we must use that 
word, justified in the sight of God. 

Thirdly, That since good works as naturally follow from 
this birth as heat from fire, therefore are they of absolute 

or JLJiTIllCATlON. 107 

necessity to justification. And though they he not merito- 
rious, and draw no deht upon God, yet he cannot hut ac- 
cept and reward them: for it is contrary to his nature to 
deny that which proceeds from his own Spu'it. Wherefore 
their judgment is false that say, tliat the holiest works of 
the saints are defiled and sinful in the sight of God : for 
these good works are not the works of the law, excluded 
by the apostle from justification. 

§. V. As to the first, I prove it from Rom. iii. 2o. 
*' Whom God hath set forth to he a propitiation through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteouess for the re- 
mission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of 
God. Here the apostle holds forth the extent and efficacy 
of Christ's death, shewing that thereby, and by faith 
therein, remission of sins that are past is obtained, as 
being that wherein the forbearance of God is exercised 
towards mankind. So that though men for the sins they 
daily commit deserve eternal death, and that the wrath of 
God should lay hold upon them ; yet, by virtue of that 
most satisfactory sacrifice of Christ Jesus, the grace and 
seed of God moves in love towards them, during the da}' 
of their visitation ; yet not so as not to strike against the 
evil, for that must be destroyed, but to redeem man out of 
the evil. 

Secondly, If God were perfectly reconciled with men, 
and did esteem them just while they are actually unjust, 
and do continue in their sins, then should God have no 
controversy with them ; how comes he then so often to 
complain, and to expostulate so much throughout the 
whole Scripture with such as our opponents confess to be 
justified, telling them that their sins separate betwixt him 
and them ? Isai. lix. 2. For where there is a perfect re- 
conciliation, there is no separation. From this doctrine it 
necessarily follows, either that such for whom Christ died, 


and wlioni he hath reconciled, never sin, or that when tliey 
do so, they are still reconciled, and their sins make not the 
least separation from God: yea, that they are justified in 
their sins. From whence also would follow this abomi- 
nahle consequence, that the good works and greatest sins 
of such are alike in the sight of God, seeing neither the 
one serves to justify them, nor the other to hinder their 

Thirdly, This would make void the whole practical 
doctrine of the gospel, and make faith itself needless. For 
if faith and repentance, and the other conditions called for 
throughout the gospel, be a qualification upon our part 
necessary to be performed, then, before this be performed 
by us, we are either fully reconciled to God ; or but in a 
capacity of being reconciled to God, he being ready to re- 
concile and justify us as these conditions are performed ; 
which latter is according to the truth we profess. And if 
we are already perfectly reconciled and justified before 
these conditions are performed (which conditions are of 
that nature that they cannot be performed at one time, but 
are to be done all one's life-time) then can they not be said 
to be absolutely needful ; which is contrary to the very 
express testimony of Scripture, which is acknowledged by 
all Christians: " For without faith it is impossible to please 
God. They that believe not are condemned already, be- 
cause they believe not in the only begotten Son of God. 
Except ye repent, ye cannot be saved : for if ye live after 
the flesh, ye shall die." And of those that were converted; 
*' I will remove your candlestick from you, unless ye re- 
pent." Should I mention all the Scriptures that evidently 
prove this, I might transcribe much of all the doctrinal 
part of the Bible. For since Christ said, " It is finished," 
aitd did finish his work sixteen hundred years ago and 
u})\vards; if he so fully perfected redemption then, and 


dill actually reconcile every one that is to be saved, not 
simply opening a door of mercy for them, offering the 
sacrifice of his body, by which they may obtain remission 
of their sins when they repent, and communicating unto 
them a measure of his grace, by which they may see their 
sins, and be able to repent ; but really making them to be 
reputed as just, either before they believe, or after they 
have assented to the truth of the history of Christ, or are 
sprinkled with the baptism of water, while nevertheless they 
are actually unjust, so that no part of their redemption is to 
be wrought by him now, as to their reconciliation and 
justification; then the whole doctrinal part of the Bible is 
useless : in vain were the apostles sent forth to preach 
repentance and remission of sins ; and in vain do all the 
preachers bestow their labour; yea, much more in vain do 
the people spend their money which they give them for 
preaching; seeing it is all but a vain essay, to do that which 
is already perfectly done without them. 

But lastly. To pass by their human labours, as not 
worth the disputing whether they be needful or not, since 
themselves confess the best of them is sinful; this also 
makes void the present intercession of Christ for men. 
What will become of that great article of faith, by which 
we affirm. That he sits at the right hand of God, daily 
making intercession for us; and for which end the Spirit 
itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which can- 
not be uttered? For Christ maketh not intercession for 
those that are not in a possibihty of salvation ; that would 
be absurd. Our opponents will not admit that he prayed 
for the world at all ; and to pray for those that are already 
reconciled, and perfectly justified, is to no purpose: to 
pray for remission of sins is yet more needless, if all be 
remitted, past, present, and to come. Indeed there is not 
any solving of this, but by acknowledging according to 


the truth, That Christ by his death removed the wrath of 
God, so far as to obtain remission of sins for as many as 
receive that grace and hght that he communicates unto 
them, and hath purchased for them by his blood; in which, 
as they believe, they come to know remission of sins past, 
and power to save them from sin, and to wipe it away, so 
often as they may foil into it by unwatchfulness, if, apply- 
ing themselves to this grace, they truly repent; for to as 
many as receive him, he gives power to become the sons 
of God: so none are sons, none are justified, none re- 
conciled, vmtil they thus receive him in that little seed in 
their hearts : " And life eternal is offered to those who, 
by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, ho- 
nour, and immortality : for if the righteous man depart from 
his righteousness, his righteousness shall be remembered 
no more."" And therefore on the other part, none are 
longer sons of God, and justified, than they patiently con- 
tinue in righteousness and well-doing. And therefore 
Christ lives always making intercession, during the day of 
every man's visitation, that he may be converted: and 
when men are in some measure converted, he makes in- 
tercession that they may go on, and not faint, nor go back 
again. Much more might be said to confirm this truth ; 
but I go on to take notice of the common objections 
against it, which are the arguments made use of to propa- 
gate the errors contrary to it. 

§. VI. The first and chief is drawn from that saying of 
the apostle before-mentioned, 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. " God hath 
reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ: God was in 
Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing 
their trespasses unto them." 

From hence they seek to infer. That Christ fully per- 
fected the work of reconciliation while ho was on earth. 

I answer; If by reconciliation be understood the remov- 


ing of wrath, and the purchase of that grace by which we 
may come to be reconciled, we agree to it; but that that 
place speaks no more, appears from the place itself: for 
when the apostle speaks in the perfect time, saying, He 
hath reconciled us, he speaks of hunself and the saints; 
who having received the grace of God purchased by 
Christ, were through faith in him actually reconciled. 
But as to the world, he saitli reconciling- not reconciled; 
which reconciling, though it denotes a time somewhat 
past, yet it is by^the imperfect time, denoting that the 
thing begun was not perfected. For this work Christ 
began towards all in the days of his flesh, and long be- 
fore; for He was the mediator from the beginning, and 
the lamb slain from the foundation of the world : but in 
his flesh, after he had perfectly fulfilled the law, and the 
righteousness thereof; had rent the veil, and made way 
for the more clear and universal revelation of the gospel 
to all, both Jew and Gentile ; he gave up himself a most 
satisfactory sacrifice for sin ; which becomes effectual to 
as many as receive him in his inward appearance, in his 
light in the heart. Again, this very place sheweth that 
no other reconciliation is intended, but the opening of a 
door of mercy upon God's part, and a removing of wrath 
for sins that are past; so as men, notwithstanding their 
sins, are placed in a capacity of salvation : for the apostle, 
in the following verse, saith, " Now then we are ambassa- 
dors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us ; we 
pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God." For 
if their reconciliation had already been perfectly accom- 
plished, what need any intreating then to be reconciled? 

Secondly, They object, verse 21st of the same chapter, 
" For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no 
sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in 
him." From whence they argue, That as our sin is ini- 


putecl to Christ, who had no sin; so Christ's righteousness 
is imputed to us, without our being righteous. 

But this interpretation is easily refuted ; for though 
Christ bare our sins, and suflered for us, and was among 
men accounted a sinner, and numbered among transgres- 
sors; yet that God reputed him a sinner, is no where 
proved. For it is said, He was found before him holy, 
harmless, and undefiled, neither was there found any guile 
in his mouth. That we deserved these things, and much 
more for our sins, which he endured in obedience to the 
Father, and according to his counsel, is true ; but that 
ever God reputed him a sinner, is denied: neither did he 
ever die that we should be reputed righteous, though no 
more really such than he was a sinner. For indeed, if this 
argument hold, it might be stretched to that length, as 
to become very pleasing to wicked men that love to abide 
in their sins: for if we be made righteous, as Christ was 
made a sinner, merely by imputation; then as there was 
no sin, not in the least, in Christ, so it would follow, that 
there needed no more righteousness, no more hohness, no 
more inward sanctification in us, than there was sin in 
him. So then, by his being made sin for us must be un- 
derstood his suffering for our sins, that we might be made 
partakers of the grace purchased by him; by the workings 
whereof we are made the righteousness of God in him. 
For that the apostle understood here a being made really 
righteous, and not merely a being reputed such, appears 
by what follows, seeing in ver. 14, 15, 16. of the following 
chapter, he argues largely against any supposed agree- 
ment of light and darkness, righteousness and unrighteous- 
ness; which must needs be admitted, if men are to be reck- 
oned ingrafted in Christ, and real members of hirn, merely 
by an imputative righteousness wholly without them, while 
they themselves are actually unrighteous. And indeed it 


may be tliouglit strange, how some men liave made this 
so fundamental an article of their faith, which is so contrary 
to the whole strain of the gospel: a thing which Christ in 
none of all his sermons and gracious speeches ever willed 
any to rely upon; always recommending to us works, as 
instrumental in our justification. And tlie more it is to 
be admired, because that sentence (so frequently in their 
mouths, and so often pressed by them, as the very basis of 
their hope and confidence) to wit, The imputed righteous- 
ness of Christ, is not to be found in all the Bible. 

§. ^ II. I come then to the second thing proposed by 
me, which is; That it is by this inward birth, or Christ 
formed within, that we are (so to speak) formally justified 
in the sight of God. I suppose I have said enough al- 
ready to demonstrate how much we ascribe to the death 
and sufferings of Christ, as that whereby satisfaction is 
made to the justice of God, remission of sins obtained, and 
this grace and seed purchased, by and from which this birth 
proceeds. The thing now to be proved is, That by Christ 
Jesus formed in us, we are justified, or made just. Let it 
be marked, I use justification in this sense upon this occa- 

First then I prove this by that of the apostle Paul, 
1 Cor. vi. 11. " iVnd such were some of you; but ye are 
washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the 
name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 
First, This Justified here understood, must needs be a being 
really made just, and not a being merely imputed such ; else 
sanctified and washed might be reputed a being esteemed 
so, and not a being really so ; and then it quite overturns 
the whole intent of the context. For the apostle shewing 
them in the preceding verses, how the unrighteous cannot 
inherit the kingdom of God, and descending to the several 
species of wickedness, subsumes. That they were some- 

1 I 


times such, but now are not any move such. Wherefore, 
as they are now washed and sanctified, so are they justi- 
fied : for if this justification were not real, then it might 
be alleged that the Corinthians had not forsaken these 
evils ; but, though they still continued in them, were not- 
withstanding justified: which as in itself it is most absurd, 
so it very clearly overturneth the very import of the place; 
as if the Corinthians turning Christians had not wrought 
any real change in them, but had only been a belief of 
some barren notions, which had wrought no alteration 
in their affections, will, or manner of life. 

Now is it not strange, that men should be so easy about a 
matter of so great concernment, as to build their acceptance 
with God upon a mere metaphorical signification, to the 
excluding, or at least esteeming not necessary, that with- 
out which the Scripture saith expressly. No man shall 
ever see God? For if holiness be requisite, of which this 
is said, then must good works also ; imless our opponents 
can shew us an holy man without good works. But, more- 
over, jMS^i^etZ in this figurative sense is used for approved; 
and indeed for the most part, if not always in Scripture, 
when the word justify is used, it is taken in the worst 
part; that is, that as the use of the word that way is an 
usurpation, so it is spoken of such as usurp the thing to 
themselves, while it properly doth not belong unto them ; 
as will appear to those that will be at the pains to examine 
these places. Exod. xxiii. 7. Job ix. 20. & xxvii. 5. Prov. 
xvii. 15. Isai. v. 23. Jer. iii. 11. Ezek. xvi. 51, 52. Luke 
x. 29. & xvi. 15. which are all spoken of men justifying 
the wicked, or of wicked men justifying themselves ; that 
is, approving themselves in their wickedness. If it be at 
any time in this signification taken in good part, it is very 
seldom, and that so plain by the context, as leaves no 
scruple. But the question is not so much of the use of 


the word, wliere it is occasionally used, as where the very 
doctrine of justification is handled. Where indeed to 
mistake it, viz. in its proper place, so as to content our- 
selves with an imaginary justification, while God requires 
a real, is of most dangerous consequence. For the dis- 
quisition of which let it be considered, that in all these 
places to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and else- 
where, where the apostle handles this theme, the word 
may be taken in its own proper signification without any 
absurdity. As, where it is often asserted in the above- 
mentioned epistles to the Romans and Galatians, That a 
man cannot be justified by the law of Moses, nor by the 
works of the law ; there is no absurdity in understanding 
it according to its own proper signification, to wit, that a 
man cannot be made just by the law of Moses; seeing this 
so well agrees with that saying of the same apostle, That 
the law makes nothing perfect. And also where it is said. 
We are justified by faith, it may be very well understood 
of being made just; seeing it is also said, That faith 
purifies the heart ; and no doubt the pure in heart are 
just; and the just live by faith. Again, where it is said. 
We are justified by grace, we are justified by Christ, we 
are justified by the Spirit; it is no ways absurd to under- 
stand it of being made just, seeing by his spirit and grace he 
doth make men just. But to understand it universally the 
other way, merely for acceptance and imputation, would 
infer great absurdities. But further, in the most weighty 
places where this word justify is used in Scripture, with 
an immediate relation to the doctrine of justification, our 
opponents must needs acknowledge it to be understood of 
making just, and not barely in the legal acceptation : as 
first, in that of 1 Cor. vi. 11. " But ye are washed, but ye 
are sanctified, but ye are justified." 

Secondly, In that excellent saying of the apostle, so 

I 2 



much observed, Rom. viii. ,10. " Wliom lie c.-illcd, them 
he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glo- 
rified:" this is commonly called the golden chain, as being 
acknowledged to comprehend the method and order of 
salvation. And therefore, \^ justified were not understood 
here in its proper signification of being made just, sanctifii- 
cation would be excluded out of this chain. And truly it 
is very worthy of observation, that the apostle, in this 
succinct account, makes the word justified to comprehend 
all betv/ixt calling and glorifying ; thereby clearly insinu- 
ating, that the being really righteous is that only medium* 
by which we pass from our calling to glorification^ 

§. VIII. Having thus suflSciently proved, that by justifi- 
cation is to be understood a really being made righteous, 
I do boldly affirm, That the inmiediate, nearest, or formal 
cause (if we must in condescension to some use this word). 
of a man's justification in the sight of God, is, the revela- 
tion of Jesus Christ in the soul, changing and renewing 
the mind, by whom (even the author of this inward work) 
thus formed and revealed, we are truly justified and ac- 
cepted in the sight of God. For it is as we are thus 
clothed with him, in whom the Father is always well 
pleased, that we may draw near to God, and stand with 
confidence before his throne, being purged by the blood 
of Jesus inwardly poured into our souls, and clothed with 
his life and righteousness therein revealed. And this is 
that method of salvation held forth by the apostle in that 
divine saying. Rom. v. 10. " For if when we were enemies,, 
we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son ; much 
more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." For 
the apostle first holding forth the reconciliation wrought 
by the death of Christ, wherein God is near to receive and 
redeem man, holds forth his salvation and justification ta 
be by tlve life of Jesus. Now, that this life is an inwanl. 


spiiitual tliin<^ revealed iu tlie soul, whereby it is brought 
forth out of death, where it naturally hath been by the 
fall, and so quickened unto God, the same apostle shews, 
Eph. ii. 5. " Even when we were dead in sins and tres- 
passes, he hath quickened us together in Christ (by whose 
grace ye arc saved) and hath raised us up together." Now 
this none will deny to be the inward w^ork of renovation, 
and therefore the apostle gives that reason of their being 
saved by grace ; which is the inward power of Christ in 
the soul. Of the revelation of this inward life the apostle 
also speaketh, 2 Cor. iv. 10. That the life also of Jesus 
might be made manifest m our bodies; and verse 11. 
That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our 
mortal flesh. Now this inward life of Jesus is that where- 
by, he said, we are saved. 

Secondly, That it is by this revelation of Jesus Christ, 
and the new creation in us, that we are justified, doth 
evidently appear from that excellent saying of the apostle 
included in the proposition itself, Tit. iii. 5. " According 
to his mercy he hath saved us, by the washing of regene- 
ration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," Sec. Now that 
whereby we are saved, l^y that we are also no doubt justi- 
fied. Here the apostle clearly ascribes the immediate 
cavise of justification to this inward work of regeneration, 
which is Jesus Christ revealed in the soul, as being that 
which formally places us in a capacity of being reconciled 
with God ; the washing or regeneration being that inward 
power and virtue, whereby the soul is cleansed, and 
clothed with the righteousness of Christ, so as to be made 
fit to appear before God. 

Thirdly, This doctrine is manifest from 2 Cor. xiii. v. 
" Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith ; prove 
your ownselves: know ye not your ownselves, how that 
Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?" First, It 


appears here how earnest tlie apostle was that they should 
know Christ in them; so that he presses this exhortation 
upon them, and inculcates it three times. Secondly, He 
makes the cause of reprobation, the want of Christ thus 
revealed and known in the soul: whereby it necessarily fol- 
lows, by the rule of contraries, where the parity exists (as in 
this case it is evident) that where Christ is inwardly known, 
there the persons subjected to him are approved and justified. 

§. IX. The third thing proposed to be considered, is 
concerning the necessity of good works to justification. 

But if it be queried, Whether we have not said, or will 
not affirm, that a man is justified by works? 

I answer; I hope none need, neither ought, to take 
offence, if in this matter we use the plain language of the 
holy Scripture, which saith expressly in answer hereunto, 
James ii. 24. " Ye see then how that by works a man is 
justified, and not by faith only." Whence arises this argu- 
ment : 

If no man can be justified without faith, and no faith be 
living, nor yet available to justification without works, 
then works are necessary to justification. 

This truth is so apparent in the Scriptures, that for the 
proof of it we might transcribe most of the precepts of the 
gospel. I shall instance a few, which of themselves do so 
clearly assert tlie thing in question, that they need no fur- 
ther demonstration. Heb. xii. 14. " Without holiness no 
man shall see God." Mat. vii. 21. "Not everyone that 
saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven, but lie that doeth the will of my Father which is in 
heaven." John xiii. 7. " If ye know these things, happy 
are ye if ye do them." 1 Cor. vii. 19. " Circumcision is 
nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of 
the commandments of God." Kev. xxii. 14. " Blessed arc 
they that do liis commandments, that they may have right 


to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into 
the city." From all which I thus argue : 

If those only can enter into the kingdom that do the will 
of the Father ; if tliose be accounted only the wise build- 
ers and happy that do the sayings of Christ; if no obser- 
vations avail, but only the keeping of the commandments ; 
and if they be blessed that do the commandments, and 
thereby have right to the tree of life, and to an entrance 
through the gates into the city ; then works are absolutely 
necessary to salvation and justification. 

§. X. But they object, That works are not necessary to 
justification: First, because of that saying of Christ, Luke 
xvii. 10. "When ye shall have done all these things 
that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable ser- 
vants," &c. 

Answer ; As to God we are indeed unprofitable, for he 
needeth nothing, neither can we add any thing unto him: 
but as to ourselves we are not improfitable ; else it might 
be said, that it is not profitable for a man to keep God's 
commandments ; which is most absurd, and would contra- 
dict Christ's doctrine thoughout. Doth not Christ, Mat. 
V. through all those beatitudes, pronounce men blessed for 
their purity, for their meekness, for their peaceableness, 
&c. And is not then that for which Christ pronounceth 
men blessed, profitable unto them ? Moreover, Mat. xxv. 2 1 , 
23. Doth not Christ pronounce the men good and faithful 
servants that improved their talents? Was not their doing 
of that then profitable unto them? And ver. 30. it is 
said of him that hid his talent, and did not improve it, 
" Cast ye the unprofitable servant into utter darkness," If 
then not improving of the talent made the man unprofit- 
able, and he was therefore cast into utter darkness, it will 
follow at least by the rule of contraries, that the improving 
made the other profitable; seeing, if our opponents will 



allow us to believe Christ's words, tins is made a reason, 
and so at least a cause instrumental of their acceptance ; 
" Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been 
faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over 
many things ; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." 

Secondly, They object those sayings of the apostle, 
where he excludes the deeds of the law from justification; 
as first, Rom. iii. SO. " Because by the deeds of the law 
there shall be no flesh justified in his sight." And ver. 
JiS. " Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by 
faith, without the deeds of the law." 

Answer; We have shewn already what place we give 
to works, even to the best of works, in justification; and 
how we ascribe its immediate and formal cause to the 
worker brought forth in us, but not to the works. But in 
answer to this objection, I say, there is a great difference 
betwixt the works of the law, and those of grace, or of the 
gospel. I'he first are excluded, the second necessary. 
The first are those which are performed in man's own 
will and by his strength, in a conformity to the outward 
law and letter; and therefore are man's own imperfect 
works, or works of the law, which makes nothing perfect : 
and to this belong all the ceremonies, purifications, and 
traditions of the Jews. The second are the works of the 
Spirit of grace in the heart, wrought in conformity to the 
inward and spiritual law; which works are not wrought in 
man's will, nor by his power, but in and by the power and 
Spirit of Christ in us, and therefore are pure and perfect 
in their kind, and may be called Christ's works, for that 
he is the immediate author of them; such works we affirm 
absolutely necessary to justification; and all faith without 
them is dead and useless, as the apostle James saith. 
Now, that such a distinction is to be admitted, and that 
tlie works excluded by the apostle in llic matter of justifi- 


cation are of the first kind, will appear, if wc consider tlie 
occasion of the apostle's mentioning this, as well here, as 
tlu-oughout his epistle to the Galatians, where he speaks 
of this matter and to tliis purpose at large: which was this, 
That whereas many of the Gentiles, that were not of the 
race or seed of Abraham, as concerning the flesh, were 
come to be converted to the faith of Christ, and to believe 
in him, some of those that M^ere of the Jewish proselytes, 
thought to subject the beheving Gentiles to the legal cere- 
monies, as necessary to their justification: this gave the 
apostle Paul occasion at length, in his epistle to the Ro- 
mans, Galatians, and elsewhere, to shew the use and ten- 
dency of the law, and of its works, and to contra-distin- 
guish them from the faith of Christ, and the righteousness 
thereof; shewing how the former was ceased and become 
ineffectual, the other remaining, and yet necessary. And 
that the works excluded by the apostle are of this kind 
of works of the law, appears by the whole strain of his 
epistle to the Galatians, chap. i. ii. iii. and iv. For after, 
in chap. iv. he upbraideth them for their returning unto 
the observation of days and times, and that, in the begin- 
ning of chap. V. he sheweth them their folly and the evil 
consequence of adhering to the ceremonies of circumci- 
sion, then he adds, ver. 6. " For in Christ Jesus neither 
circumcision nor vmcircumcision availeth, but faith, which 
worketh by love;" and thus he concludes again, chap. vi. 
ver. 15. " For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avail- 
eth, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." From which 
places appeareth that distinction of works before-mention- 
ed, whereof the one is excluded, the other necessary to 
justification. For the apostle sheweth here, that circum- 
cision (which word is often used to comprehend the whole 
ceremonies and legal performances of the Jews) is not 
necessary, nor doth avail. Here then are the works which 


are excluded, by which no man is justified ; but faith, 
which worketh by love, the new creature, this is that 
which availeth, which is absolutely necessary; for faith, 
that worketh by love, cannot be without works, for, as it 
is said in the same 5th chapter, verse 22. Love is a work 
of the Spirit ; also the new creature, if it avail and be ne- 
cessary, cannot be without works ; seeing it is natural for 
it to bring forth works of righteousness. Again, that the 
apostle noways intends to exclude such good works appears, 
in that in the same epistle he exhorts theGalatians to them, 
and holds forth the usefulness and necessity of them, and 
that very plainly, chap. vi. ver. 7, 8, 9. " Be not deceived," 
saith he, '* God is not mocked ; for whatsoever a man sow- 
eth, that shall he also reap : for he that soweth to the flesh, 
shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to 
the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And 
let us not be weary of well-doing, for in due season we shall 
reap, if we faint not." Doth it not hereby appear, how 
necessary the apostle would have the Galatians know that 
he esteemed good works to be? 

But lastly ; For a full answer to this objection, and for 
the estabhshing of this doctrine of good works, I shall 
instance another saying of the same apostle Paul ; to wit. 
Tit. iii. 5. " Not by works of righteousness which we have 
done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the wash- 
ing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." It 
is generally granted by ail, that saved is here all one as if 
it had been said justified. Now there are two kinds of 
works here mentioned : one by which we are not saved, 
that is, not justified; and another by which we are saved, 
or justified. The first, the works of righteousness which 
we have wrought, that is, which we in our first fallen na- 
ture, by our own strength, have wrought, our own legal 
performances, and therefore miiy truly be called ours, 


whatever specious appearances they may have. And that 
it ought to be so understood, doth appear from the other 
part, " By the washing of regeneration, and renewing of 
the Holy Ghost;" seeing regeneration is a Avork, compre- 
hensive of many good works; even of all those which are 
called the fruits of the Spirit. 

Now in case it should be objected. That these may also 
be called oiu's, because wrought in us, and also by us many 
times as instruments ; 

I answer ; It is far otherwise than the former : for in the 
first we are yet alive in our own natural state, working of 
ourselves, seeking to save ourselves, by endeavouring a con- 
formity to the outward letter of the law ; and so striving in 
the carnal mind, that is enmity to God, and in the cursed 
will not yet subdued. But in this second we are crucified 
with Christ, we are become dead with him, have partaken 
of the fellowship of his sufferings, are made conformable 
to his death ; and our old man with all his deeds, as well 
the openly wicked as the seemingly righteous, our legal 
observations and selfish wrestlings, are all buried and 
nailed to the cross of Christ ; and so it is no more we, but 
Christ alive in us, the worker in us. So that though it be 
we in a sense, yet it is according to that of the apostle to 
the same Galatians, chap. ii. ver. 20. " I am crucified, yet 
nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : not 
I but the grace of Christ in me." These works are especi- 
ally to be ascribed to the Spirit of Christ, and the grace of 
God in us, as being immediately thereby acted and led in 
them, and enabled to perform them. And this inanner of 
speech is not strained, but familiar to the apostle, as ap- 
pears, Gal. ii. 8. "For he that wi'ought effectually in 
Peter, to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was 
mighty in me," Sec. Phil. ii. 18. "For it is God which 
worketh in you, both to will and to do," &c. it ajipears 


by this i)lacc, that since the washing of regeneration is 
necessary to justification, and that regeneration compre- 
hends works, works are necessary ; and that these works 
of the law that are exchided, are different from those that 
are necessary. 

§. XL Thirdly, They object that no works, yea, not 
the works of Christ in us, can have place in justification, 
because nothing that is impure can be useful in it ; and all 
the works wrought in us are impure. For this they allege 
that saying of the prophet Isaiah, Ixiv. 6. " All our righte- 
ousnesses are as filthy rags," adding this reason. That see- 
ing we are impure, so must our works be, which though 
good in themselves, yet as performed by us, they receive a 
tincture of impurity, even as clean water passing through 
an unclean pipe is defiled. 

That no impure works are useful to justification is con- 
fessed ; but that all the works wrought in the saints are 
such, is denied. We confess, that the first sort of works 
above-mentioned are impure ; but not the second : be- 
cause the first are wrought in the unrenewed state, but 
not the other. And as for that of Isaiah, it must relate to 
the first kind ; for though he saith, " All our righteous- 
nesses are as filthy rags," yet that will not comprehend the 
righteousness of Christ in us, but only that which we work 
of and by ourselves. For should we so conclude, then it 
would follow, that we should throw away all holiness and 
righteousness ; since that which is as filthy rags, and as a 
menstruous garment, ought to be thrown away; yea, it 
would follow, that all the fruits of the Spirit, mentioned 
Gal. iv. were as filthy rags : whereas on the contrary, some 
of the works of the saints are said to have a sweet savour 
in the nostrils of the Lord; are said to be an ornament of 
great price in the sight of God; arc said to prevail with 
liim, and to be acceptable to him. 

OF jrsTiFiCATioy. \^l!) 

§. XII. As to the other part, That seeing tlie best of 
men are still impure and imperfect, therefore their works 
Miust be so ; it is to beg the question, and depends upon 
a proposition denied. But thougli we should suppose a 
man not thoroughly perfect in all respects, yet will not 
that hinder, but good works in their kind may be brought 
forth in him by the Spirit of Christ: neither doth the 
example of water going through an unclean pipe hit tlie 
matter; because though water may be capable to be 
tinctured with uncleanness, yet the Spirit of God cannot, 
M'hom we assert to be the immediate author of those 
works that avail in justification: and therefore Jesus 
Christ's works in his children are pure and perfect, and 
he worketh in and through that pure thing of his own 
forming and creating in them. Moreover, if this did hold, 
according to our opponents' supposition. That no man 
ever was or can be perfect, it would follow, that the very 
miracles and works of the apostles, which Christ wrouglit 
in them, and they wrought in and by the power. Spirit, 
and grace of Christ, were also impure and imperfect; such as 
their converting of the nations to the Christian faith; their 
gathering of the churches, their writing of the holy Scrip- 
tures ; and their offering up and sacrificing of their lives for 
the testimony of Jesus. What may our opponents think 
of this argument, whereby it will follow that the holy 
Scriptures, whose perfection and excellency they seem so 
much to mag-nify, are proved to be impure and imperfect, 
because they came through impure and imperfect vessels ? 

But lastly. It is fit here to say something of the merit 
and reward of works. We are far from thinking or be- 
lieving, that man merits any thing by his works from God, 
all being of free grace. Nevertheless we cannot deny 
but that God, out of his infinite goodness wherewith he 
hath loved mankind, after he communicates to them his 


holy grace and Spirit, doth, according to his own will, re- 
compense and reward the good works of his children. 

§. XIII. And to conclude this proposition, let none be 
so bold as to mock God, supposing themselves justified 
and accepted in the sight of God, by virtue of Christ's 
death and sufferings, while they remain unsanctified and 
unjustified in their own hearts, and polluted in their sins, 
lest their hope prove that of the hypocrite, which perish- 
eth. Neither let any foolishly imagine, that they can 
by their own works, or by the performance of any cere- 
monies or traditions, or by the giving of money, or by 
afflicting their bodies in voluntary humility, or foolishly 
striving to conform their way to the outward letter of the 
law, flatter themselves that they merit before God, or draw 
a debt upon hmi, or that any man or men have power to 
make such kind of things effectual to their justification, 
lest they be found foolish boasters, and strangers to 
Christ and his righteousness. 

But blessed for ever are they, that have truly had a 
sense of their own unworthiness and sinfulness, and having 
seen all their own endeavours fruitless, and beheld their 
own emptiness, and the vanity of their vain hopes and con- 
fidence, while they remained inwardly condemned by God's 
holy witness in their hearts ; and so having apphed them- 
selves thereto, and suffered his grace to work in them, are 
become changed and renewed in the spirit of their minds, 
passed fi'om death to life, and know Jesus arisen in 
them, working both the will and the deed ; and so having 
put on the Lord Jesus Christ, in effect are clothed with 
him, and partake of his righteousness and nature : such 
can draw near to the Lord with boldness, and know their 
acceptance in and by him, in whom, and in as many as are 
found in him, the Father is well pleased. 



Concerning Perfection. 

In whom this pure and holy birth is fully brought forth, 
the body of death and sin comes to be ci*ucified and 
removed, and their hearts united and subjected to the 
truth, so as not to obey any suggestions or temptations 
of the evil one, but to be free from actual sinning and 
transgressing of the law of God, and in that respect per- 
fect : yet doth this perfection still admit of a growth ; and 
thei*e remaineth always in some part a possibility of 
sinning, where the mind doth not most diligently and 
watchfully attend unto the Lord. 

§. I. Since we have placed justification in the revelation 
of Jesus Christ formed in the heart, there working his 
works of righteousness, and bringing forth the fruits of 
the Spirit, the question is, How far he may prevail in us 
while we are in this life ; or we over our souls' enemies, in 
and by his strength? Those that plead for justification 
wholly without them, merely by imputative righteousness, 
denying the necessity of being clothed with inward righte- 
ousness, do consequently affirm*, " That it is impossible 
for a man, even the best of men, to be free of sin in this 
life, which no man ever was; but on the contrary, that 
none can, neither of himself, nor by any grace received in 
this life, keep the commandments of God perfectly; but 
that every man doth break the commandments in thought, 

* Westminster larger Catechism. 


word, and deed:" whence tliey also affirm, "That the 
very best actions of the saints, their prayers, their wor- 
ships, are impure and poUuted." We on the contrary, 
though we freely acknowledge this of the natural fallen 
man, whatever his profession may be, so long as he is un- 
regenerate, yet we do believe, that to those in whom Christ 
comes to be formed, and the new man brought forth, and 
born of the incorruptible seed, (as that birth, and man in 
union therewith, naturally doeth the will of God,) it is 
possible so far to keep to it, as not to be found daily trans- 
gressors of the law of God. And for the more clear stat- 
ing of the controversy, let it be considered: 

§. 11. First, That Ave place not this possibihty in man's 
own will and capacity, as he is a man, the son of fallen 
Adam, or as he is in his natural state, however wise, or 
however much endued with a notional and literal know- 
ledge of Christ, thereby endeavouring a conformity to the 
letter of the law, as it is outward. 

Secondly, That we attribute it wholly to man, as he is 
born again, renewed in his mind, raised by Christ, knowing 
Christ alive, reigning and ruling in him, and guiding him 
by his spirit, and revealing in him the law of the Spirit of 
life ; which not only manifests and reproves sin, but also 
gives power to come out of it. 

Thirdly, That by this we vmderstand not such a per- 
fection as may not daily admit of a growth, and conse- 
quently mean not as if we were to be as pure and perfect 
as God in his divine attributes of wisdom, knowledge, 
and purity; but only a perfection proportionable to 
man's measure, whereby we are kept from transgress- 
ing the law of God, and enabled to answer what he 
requires of us; even as he that improved his two talents so 
as to make four of them, perfected his work, and was so 


accepted of his Lord as to be called a good and faithful 
servant, nothing less than he that made his five, ten. 

Fourthly, Though a man may witness this deliverance 
from sin, and therefore all ought to press after it ; yet we 
do not affirm but those that have attained it in a measure 
may, by the temptations of the enemy, fall into iniquity, 
and lose it sometimes, if they do not diligently attend to 
and follow the light of God in the heart. And we doubt 
not but many good and holy men, who have arrived to 
everlasting life, have had divers ebbings and flowings of 
this kind ; for though every sin weakens a man in his spi- 
ritual condition, yet it doth not so as to destroy him alto- 
gether, or render him uncapable of rising again. 

Lastly, Though I affirm, that after a man hath arrived 
at such a state, in which he may be able not to sin, yet he 
may sin : nevertheless, i will not affirm that a state is not 
attainable in this life, in which to do righteousness may be 
so natural to the regenerate soul, that in the stability of 
that condition he cannot sin. 1 John, iii. 9. " He that is 
born of God sinnetli not, neither can he, because the seed 
of God remaineth in him." 

The controversy being thus stated, which will serve to 
obviate objections, I shall proceed. First, to shew the ab- 
surdity of that doctrine that pleads for sin for term of life, 
even in the saints. 

Secondly, To prove this doctrine of perfection from 
many pregnant testimonies of the holy Scripture. 

And, Lastly, To answer the arguments and objections 
of our opposers. 

§. in. First then, This doctrine, viz. That the saints 
nor can nor ever will be free of sinning in this life, is in- 
consistent with the wisdom of God, and with his glorious 
power and majesty, who is of purer eyes than to behold 



iniquity ; who having purposed in himself to gather a peo- 
ple that should worship him, and be witnesses for him on 
earth, doth also no doubt sanctify and purify them. For 
God hath no delight in iniquity, but abhors transgression ; 
and though he regard man in transgression so far as to pity 
him, and afford him means to come out of it ; yet he loves 
him not, neither delights in him, as he is joined thereunto. 
Wherefore if man must be always joined to sin, then God 
would always be at a distance from him ; as it is written, 
Isai. lix. 2. " Your iniquities have separated between you 
and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you;" 
whereas on the contrary, the saints are said to partake, 
even while here, of the divine nature, 1 Pet. i. 4. and to 
be one spirit with the Lord, 1 Cor. vir 17. Now no un- 
clean thing can be so. It is expressly written. That there 
is no communion betwixt light and darkness, 2 Cor. vi. 14. 
But God is light, and every sin is darkness. 

§. IV. Secondly, It is inconsistent with the justice of 
God. For since he requires purity from his children, and 
commands them to abstain from every iniquity, and since 
his wnrath is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighte- 
ousness of men, it must needs follow, that he hath capaci- 
tated man to answer his will, or else that he requires more 
than he has given power to perform ; which is to declare 
him openly unjust. We have elsewhere spoken of the in- 
justice these men ascribe to God, in making him to damn 
the wicked, to whom, they allege, he never afforded any 
means of being good ; but this is yet an aggravation more 
irrational, to say, that God will not afford to those, whom 
he hath chosen to be his own, (whom they confess he 
loveth,) the means to please him. 

This imperfection in the saints either proceeds from 
God or from themselves : If it proceeds from them, it 
must be because they are short in improving the power 


given them, whereby they are capable to obey ; and so it is 
a thing possible to them, as indeed it is by the help of that 
power : but this our opponents deny : they are then not to 
be blamed for their continuing in sin, since it is not possible 
for them to do otherwise. If it be not of themselves, it 
must be of God, who hath not seen meet to allow them 
grace in that degree to pi-oduce that effect : and what is 
this but to attribute to God the height of injustice, to 
make him require his children to forsake sin, and yet not 
to afford them sufficient means for so doing ? But these 
men confess we ought to seek of God power to redeem us 
from sin, and yet believe they are never to receive such a 
power ; such prayers then cannot be in faith, but are all 
vain. Is not this to make God as unjust to his children as 
Pharaoh was to the Israelites, in requiring brick, and not 
giving them straw? But, blessed be God, he deals not so 
with those that truly trust in him, as these men vainly ima- 
gine; for such faithful ones find of a truth that his grace 
is sufficient for them, and know how, by his power and 
Spirit, to overcome the evil one. 

§. V. Thirdly, This doctrine is highly injurious to Jesus 
Christ, and greatly derogates from the power and virtue of 
his sacrifice, and renders his coming and ministry, as to 
the great end of it, ineffectual. For Christ principally ap- 
peared for the removing of sin, for the gathering a righte- 
ous generation, that might serve the Lord in purity of 
mind, and walk before him in fear, and to bring in ever- 
lasting righteousness, and that evangelical perfection which 
the law could not do. Hence he is said, Tit. ii. 14. to 
have given himself for us, that he might redeem us from 
all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, 
zealous of good works. This is certainly spoken of the 
saints while upon earth ; but, contrary thereunto, these 
men affirm, that we are never redeemed from all iniquity, 

K ^-i 


and so make Christ's giving of himself for us ineffectual, 
and give the apostle Paul the lie plainly, by denying 
that Christ purifieth to himself a peculiar people, 
zealous of good works? How are they zealous of 
good works, who are ever committing evil ones ? How 
are they a purified people, that are still in impurity, as 
they are that daily sin, unless sin be accounted no impurity? 
Moreover it is said expressly, 1 John, iii. 5, 8. That " for 
this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might 
destroy the works of the devil ; and ye know that he was 
manifested to take away our sins." And lest any should 
wrest this place of the apostle, as if it were spoken only of 
taking away the guilt of sin, as if it related not to this life, 
the apostle, as if by design, adds in the following verses^ 
•* Whosoever abidetli in him, sinneth not," &c. I hope then 
they sin not daily in thought, word, and deed. " Let no 
man deceive you; hethatdoeth righteousness is righteous, 
even as he is righteous ; he that committeth sin, is of the 
devil; but he that sinneth daily in thought, word, and 
deed, committeth sin ; how comes such a one then to be 
the child of God? And if Christ was manifest to take 
away sin, how strangely do they overturn the doctrine of 
Christ that deny that it is ever taken away here? And 
how injurious are they to the efficacy of Christ's appear- 
ance ? Game not Christ to gather a people out of sin into 
righteousness ; from the kingdom of Satan into the king- 
dom of the dear Son of God ? How greatly then doth it con- 
tradict the end of Christ's coming? as it is expressed by the 
apostle, Eph. V.25, 26, 27. " Even as Christ also loved the 
church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and 
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word : that he 
might present it to himself a glorious church, not having 
spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be 
holy, and without blemish." Now if Christ hath really 


thus answered the thing he came for, then Ihc members of 
this church are not ahvays sinning in thought, word, and 
deed, or there is no difference betwixt being holy and 
unholy, being daily blemished with sin, and being without 

§. VI. Fourthly, This doctrine renders the work of 
the ministry, the preaching of the word, the writing of the 
Scripture, and the prayers of holy men altogether useless 
and ineftectual. As to the first, Eph. iv. 11. Pastors and 
teachers are said to be given for the perfection of the 
saints, &c. until we all come in the unity of the faith, and 
of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, 
unto a measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 
Now if there be a necessity of sinning daily, and in all 
things, then there can be no perfection ; for such as do so 
cannot be esteemed perfect. And if for effectuating this per- 
fection in the saints the ministry be appointed and disposed 
of God, do not such as deny the possibility hereof render 
the ministry useless, and of no profit ? Seeing there can 
be no other true use assigned, but to lead people out of 
sin into righteousness. If so be these ministers assure us 
that we need never expect to be delivered from it, do not 
they render their own work needless ? What needs 
preaching against sin, for reproving of which all preaching 
is, if it can never be forsaken ? Our opponents are ex- 
alters of the Scriptures in words, much crying up their 
usefulness and perfection: now the apostle tells us, 2 Tim. 
iii. 17. That the Scriptures are for making the man of 
God perfect ; and if this be denied to be attainable in this 
hfe, then the Scriptures are of no profit. It renders the 
prayers of the saints altogether useless, seeing themselves 
do confess they ought to pray daily that God would deliver 
them from evil, and free them from sin, by the help of his 
Spirit and grace, while in this world. But though we 


might suppose this absurdity to follow, that their prayers 
are without faith, yet were not that so much, if it did not 
infer the hke upon the holy apostles, who prayed earnestly 
for this end, and therefore no doubt beheved it attainable. 
Col. iv. 12. " Labouring fervently for you in prayers that 
ye may stand perfect," &;c. 1 Thess. iii. 13. and v. 33. &c. 
§. VII. But Fifthly, This doctrine is contrary to com- 
mon sense and reason. For the two opposite principles, 
whereof the one rules in the children of darkness, the 
other in the children of light, are sin and righteousness ; 
and as they are respectively actuated by them, so they are 
accounted either as reprobated or justified, seeing it is 
abomination in the sight of God, either to justify the 
wicked, or condemn the just. Now to say that men cannot 
be so leavened by the one, as to be delivered from the 
other, is in plain words to affirm, that sin and righteous- 
ness are consistent; and that a man may be truly termed 
righteous, though he be daily sinning in every thing he 
doeth ; and then what difference betwixt good and evil ? 
Is not this putting light for darkness, and calling good 
evil, and evil good? I shall now proceed to the second 
thing proposed by me, to wit, to prove our doctrine from 
several testimonies of the holy Scriptures. 

§, VIII. And First, I prove it from the positive com- 
mand of Christ and his apostles, seeing this is a maxim 
engraven in every man's heart naturally, that no man is 
bound to do that which is impossible : since then Christ 
and his apostles have commanded us to keep all the com- 
mandments, and to be perfect in this respect, it is possible 
for us so to do. Now that this is thus commanded without 
any commentary or consequence, is apparent from these 
plain testimonies. Mat. v, 48. and vii. 21. John xiii. 17. 
1 Cor. vii. 19. 2 Cor. xiii. 11. 1 John ii. 3, 4, 5, 6. and 
iii. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. These Scriptures intimate a 

or I'KKrtcTiON. 135 

positive command for it ; they declare the absolute neces- 
sity of it ; and therefore, as if they had purposely been 
written to answer the objections of our opposers, they shew 
the folly of those that will esteem themselves children or 
friends of God, while they do otherwise. 

Secondly, It is possible, because we receive the gospel 
and law thereof for that effect; and it is expressly promised 
to us, as we are under grace, as appears by these Scrip- 
tures, Rom. iv. 14. " Sin shall not have dominion over 
you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace:" and 
Rom. viii. 3. " For what the law could not do, in that it 
was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son," 
&c. " that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled 
in us," &c. For if this were not a condition both requisite 
and attainable under the gospel, there were no difference 
betwixt the bringing in of a better hope, and the law 
which made nothing perfect. Whereas the apostle, 
throughout the whole sixth to the Romans, argues not 
only the possibility, but the necessity of being free from 
sin, from their being under the gospel, and under grace, 
and not under the law; and therefore states himself and 
those to whom he wrote in that condition in these verses, 
^, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. and therefore in the 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18 
verses, he argues both the possibility and necessity of this 
freedom from sin; and in the 22d he declares them in 
measure to have attained this condition in these words, 
" But now being made free from sin, and become servants 
to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end 
everlasting life." And as this perfection or freedom 
from sin is attained and made possible where the gospel 
and inward law of the Spirit is received and known, so the 
ignorance hereof has been and is an occasion of opposing 
this truth. This hath made them wrest the Scriptures for 
an imputative righteousness wholly without them, to cover 

13G nioi'osiTioN vm. 

their impurities ; and this hath made them imagine an ac- 
ceptance with God possible, though they suppose it im- 
possible ever to obey Christ's commands. 

Lastly, This perfection or freedom from sin is possible, 
because many have attained it, according to the express 
testimony of the Scripture ; some before the law, and some 
under the law, and many under the gospel. As first, It is 
written of Enoch, Gen. v. 22, 24, that he walked with 
God, which no man while sinning can do ; nor doth the 
Scripture record any failing of his. It is said of Noah, 
Gen. vi. 9. and of Job. i. 8. and of Zacharias and Eliza- 
beth, Luke i. 6. that they were perfect ; but under the 
gospel, besides that of the Romans above mentioned, see 
what the apostle saith of many saints in general, Eph. ii. 
4, 5, 6. " But God, wdio is rich in mercy, for his great love 
wherewith he hath loved us, even when we were dead in 
sins, hath quickened us together with Christ ; by grace ye 
are saved ; and hath raised us up together, and made us sit 
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," &c. I judge 
while they were sitting in these heavenly places, they could 
not be daily sinning in thought, word, and deed. And to con- 
clude, let that of the Revelations, xiv. 1,2,3, 4, 5, be con- 
sidered, where though their being found without fault be 
spoken in the present time, yet it is not without respect to 
their innocency while upon earth; and their being re- 
deemed from among men, and no guile found in their mouth, 
is expressly mentioned in the time past. 

§. IX. Their chief and great argument is the words of 
the apostle, 1 John i. 8. " If we say that we have no sin, 
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 

But is it not strange to see men so blinded with parti- 
ahty? How many Scriptures tenfold more plain do they 
reject, and yet stick so tenaciously to this, that can receive 
^o many answers ? As first, Jfie;e say zoe have no sin, &c. 


will not import the apostle himself to be included. Some- 
times the Scripture useth this manner of expression when 
the person speaking cannot be included; which manner of 
speech the grammarians call metascfiematismus. Thus 
James iii. 9, 10. speaking of the tongue, saith, " There- 
with bless we God, and therewith curse we men ;" adding, 
" These things ought not so to be." Who from this will 
conclude that the apostle was one of those cursers ? But 
Secondly, this objection hitteth not the matter ; he saith 
not, AVe sin daily in thought, word, and deed; far less 
that the very good works which God works in us by his 
Spirit are sin: the very next verse clearly shews, that upon 
confession and repentance we are not only forgiven, but also 
cleansed; " He is faithful to forgive us our sins, and to 
cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The apostle having 
shewn that not the guilt only, but even the filth also of sin 
is removed, subsumes his words in the time past in the 
10th verse, " If we say we have not sinned, we make him 
a liar." Thirdly, The apostle's words are not if we say 
we sin not, or commit not sin daily, but if we say we have 
no sin: and betwixt these two there is a manifest dif- 
ference; for in respect all have sinned, as we freely 
acknowledge, all may be said in a sense to have sin. 
Again, sin may be taken for the seed of sin, which may be 
in those that are redeemed from actual sinning ; but as to 
the temptations and provocations proceeding from it being 
resisted by the servants of God, and not yielded to, they 
are the devil's sin that tempteth, not the man's that is pre- 
served. Fourthly, This being considered, as also how 
positive once and again the same apostle is in that very 
epistle, is it rational to strain this one place, presently 
after so qualified and subsumed in the time past, to con- 
tradict not only other positive expressions of his, but the 


whole tendency of his epistle, and of the rest of the holy 
commands of the Scripture ? 

Secondly, Their second objection is from two places of 
Scripture, much of one signification : the one is, 1 Kings 
viii. 46. *' For there is no man that sinneth not." The 
other is, Eccles. vii. 20. " For there is not a just man upon 
earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." 

I answer. These affirm nothing of a daily and continual 
sinning, so as never to be redeemed from it ; but only that 
all have sinned, or that there is none that doth not sin, 
though not always, so as never to cease to sin ; and in this 
lies the question. Yea, in that place of the Kings he 
speaks within two verses of the returning of such with all 
their souls and hearts ; which implies a possibility of leav- 
ing off sin. 

Thirdly, They object some expressions of the apostle 
Paul, Rom. vii. 19. " For the good that I would, I do 
not; but the evil which I would not, that I do." And verse 
24. " O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me 
from the body of this death ?" 

I answer. This place infers nothing, unless it were appa- 
rent that the apostle here was speaking of his own condi- 
tion, and not rather in the person of others, or what he 
himself had sometimes borne ; which is frequent in Scrip- 
ture, as in the case of cursing, in the epistle of James 
before mentioned. But there is nothing in the text that 
doth clearly signify the apostle to be speaking of himself, 
or of a condition he was then under, or was always to 
be under ; on the contrary, in the former chapter, he de- 
clares, they were dead to sin ; demanding how such should 
yet live any longer therein ? Secondly, It appears that the 
apostle personated one not yet come to a spiritual condi- 
tion, in that he saith, verse 1 4. " But I am carnal, sold 
under sin." Now is it to be imagined that the apostle 


Paul, as to his own proper condition, when he wrote that 
epistle, was a carnal man, who in chap. i. testifies of him- 
self, That he was separated to be an apostle, capable to 
impart to the Romans spiritual gifts; and chap. viii. 
ver. 2. That the law of the spirit of Ufe in Christ Jesus 
had made him free from the law of sin and death ? So 
then he was not carnal. And seeing there are spiritual 
men in this Ufe, as our opponents will not deny, and is inti- 
mated through the whole viiith chapter to the Romans, it 
will not be denied but the apostle was one of them : so 
then as his calling himself carnal in chap. vii. cannot be 
understood of his own proper state, neither can the rest of 
what he speaks there of that kind be so understood: yea 
after, verse 24. where he makes that exclamation, he adds 
in the next verse, " I thank God, through Jesus Christ 
our Lord ;" signifying that by him he witnessed deliver- 
ance; and so goeth on, shewing how he had obtained it in 
the next chapter, viz. viii. ver. 35. " Who shall separate 
us from the love of Christ?" And ver. 37. "But in all 
these things we are more than conquerors :" and in the 
last verse, " Nothing shall be able to separate us," &c. 
But wherever there is a continuing in sin, there is a sepa- 
ration in some degree, seeing every sin is contrary to God, 
and a transgression of the law *, 1 John iii. 4. and who- 
ever committeth the least sin, is overcome of it, and so in 
that respect is not a conqueror, but conquered. This 
condition then, which the apostle plainly testified he with 
some others had obtained, could not consist with continual 
abiding in sin. 

Fourthly, They object the faults and sins of several emi- 
nent saints, as Noah, David, &c. 

I answer, That doth not at all prove the case : for the 


question is not whether good men may not fall into sin, 
which is not denied ; but whether it be not possible for them 
not to sin ? It will not follow because these men sinned, that 
therefore they were never free of sin, but always sinned : 
for at this rate of arguing, it might be urged, according to 
this rule, (The reason of contraries is alike* ,) that if, be- 
cause a good man hath sinned once or twice, he can never 
be free from sin, but must always be daily a sinner all his 
life long ; then by the rule of contraries, if a wicked man 
have done good once or twice, he can never be free from 
righteousness, but must always be a righteous man all his 
life-time : which as it is most absurd in itself, so it is con- 
trary to the plain testimony of the Scripture. Ezek. xxxiii. 
12 to 18. 

§. XI. Blessed then are they that believe in him, who 
is both able and willing to deliver as many as come to him 
through true repentance from all sin, and do not resolve to 
be the devil's servants all their hfe-time, but daily go on 
forsaking unrighteousness and forgetting those things that 
are behind, press forward toward the mark, for the prize 
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus ; such shall not 
find their faith to be in vain, but in due time shall be made 
conquerors through him in whom they have believed ; and 
so overcoming, shall be established as pillars in the house 
of God, so as they shall go no more out, Rev. iii. 12, 

• Contrariorum par ratio. 



Concerning Perseverance ^ and the Possibility of 
Falling from Grace. 

Although this gift and inward grace of God be sufficient 
to work out salvation, yet in those in whom it is resist- 
ed, it both may and doth become their condemnation. 
Moreover, they in whose hearts it hath wrought in part 
to purify and sanctify them in order to their further 
perfection, may, by disobedience, fall from it, turn 
it to wantonness, Jude iv. make shipwreck of faith, 
1 Tim. i. 19. and after having tasted the heavenly gift, 
and been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, again fall 
away, Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6. yet such an increase and stability 
in the truth may in this Ufe be attained, from which 
there can be no total apostasy. 

§. I. The first sentence of this proposition hath already 
been treated of in the fifth and sixth propositions, where 
it hath been shewn that that light which is given for life 
and salvation becomes the condemnation of those that 
refuse it, and there I did demonstrate the possibility of 
man's resisting the grace and Spirit of God : and indeed it 
is so apparent in the Scriptures, that it cannot be denied by 
such as will but seriously consider these testimonies, Prov. 
i. 24, 25, 26. John iii. 18, 19. 2 Thess. ii. 1 1, 12. Acts vii. 
51. and xiii. 46. Rom. i. 18. As for the other part of it, 
that they in whom this grace may have wrought in a good 
measure in order to purify and sanctify them, tending to 
their further perfection, may afterwards, through disobe- 


dience, fall away, &c. the testimonies of the Scripture in- 
cluded in the proposition itself are sufficient to prove it to 
men of unbiassed judgment. 

§. II. From these Scriptures then included in the pro- 
position, I argue thus : 

If men may turn the grace of God into wantonness, then 
they must once have had it: 

If men may make shipwreck of faith, they must once 
have had it ; neither could they ever have had true faith 
without the grace of God : 

If men may have tasted of the heavenly gift, and been 
made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and afterwards fall 
away, they must needs have known in measure the opera- 
tion of God's saving grace and Spirit, without which no 
man could taste the heavenly gift, nor yet partake of the 
Holy Spirit: 

Seeing the contrary doctrine is built upon this false 
hypothesis, That grace is not given for salvation to any, 
but a certain elect number, which cannot lose it, and that 
all the rest of mankind, by an absolute decree, are debar- 
red from grace and salvation; that being destroyed, this 
falls to the ground. Now as that doctrine is wholly in- 
consistent with the daily practice of those that preach it, 
in that they exhort people to believe and be saved, while 
if they belong to the decree of reprobation, it is simply 
impossible for them so to do ; and if to the decree of elec- 
tion, it is needless, seeing it is as impossible to them to miss 
of it ; so also in this matter of perseverance, their practice 
and principle are no less inconsistent. For while they 
daily exhort people to be faithful to the end, shewing 
them if they continue not they shall be cut off, and fall 
short of the reward, which is very true, but no less incon- 
sistent with that doctrine that affirms there is no hazard, 
because no possibility of departing from the least measure 


of true grace ; which if true, it is to no purpose to beseech 
them to stand, to whom God hath made it impossible to 

§. III. First, they allege in objection, That those places 
mentioned of making shipwreck of faith, are only to be 
understood of seeming faith, and not of a real true faith. 

This objection is very weak, and apparently contrary to 
the text, 1 Tim. i. 19, where the apostle addeth to faith a 
good conscience, by way of complaint; whereas if their 
faith had been only hypocritical, the men had been better 
without it than with it; neither had they been worthy of 
blame for losing that which in itself was evil. But the 
apostle expressly adds and of a good conscience, which 
shews it was real; neither can it be supposed that men 
could truly attain a good conscience without the opera- 
tion of God's saving grace; far less that a good conscience 
doth consist with an hypocritical faith. Again, these 
places of the apostle being spoken by way of regret, clear- 
ly import that these attainments they have fallen from 
were good and real, not false and deceitful, else he would 
not have regretted their falling from them; and so he 
saith positively, They tasted of the heavenly gift, and were 
made partakers of the Holy Ghost, &c. not that they 
seemed to be so, which sheweth this objection is very 

Secondly, They allege, Phil. i. 6. " Being confident of 
this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in 
you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," &c. and 
1 Pet. i. 5. " Who are kept by the power of God through 
faith unto salvation." 

These Scriptures, as they do not affirm any thing posi- 
tively contrary to us, so they cannot be understood other- 
wise than as the condition is performed upon our part, seeing 
salvation is no otherwise proposed there but upon certain 


necessary conditions to be peiformed by us, as Rom. vuu 
13. " For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die ; but if ye 
through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye 
shall live." And Heb. iii. 14. " We are made partakers 
of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence sted- 
fast unto the end. For if these places of the Scripture 
upon which they build their objections were to be ad- 
mitted without these conditions, it would manifestly over- 
turn the whole tenor of their exhortations throughout all 
their writings. 

§. IV. As upon the one hand they err who affirm that 
the degree of true and saving grace cannot be fallen from, 
so do they err upon the other hand that deny any such 
stability to be attained from which there cannot be a total 
and final apostasy. For all the arguments which these 
allege that affirm there can be no falling away, may well be 
received upon the one part, if said of those who have at- 
tained to this stability, and their objections solved by this 
confession ; so upon the other hand, the arguments alleged 
from Scripture testimonies by those that affirm the possi- 
bility of falling away may well be received concerning such 
as are not come to this establishment, though they may 
have attained a measure of true grace. For such as judge 
it always possible for the best of men before they die to 
fall away, I shall add some brief considerations from some 
few testimonies of the Scripture. 

§. V. And first, I freely acknowledge that it is good for all 
to be humble, and in this respect not over confident, so as to 
lean to this, to foster themselves in iniquity, or lie down 
in security, as if they had attained this condition, seeing 
watchfulness and diligence is of indispensible necessity to 
all men ; for God will have this to be the constant practice 
of a Christian, that thereby he may be the more fit to serve 
him, and better armed against all the temptations of the 


enemy. For since the wages of sin is death, there is no 
mail, while he sinneth, and is subject thereunto, but may 
justly suppose himself capable of perishing. Hence the 
apostle Paul himself saith, 1 Cor. ix. 27. " But I keep 
under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by 
any means, when I have preached to others, I myself 
should be a cast-away." Here the apostle supposes it pos- 
sible for him to be a cast-away, and yet it may be judged 
he was far more advanced injthe inward work of regenera- 
tion, when he wrote that epistle, than many who now-a- 
days too presumptuously suppose they cannot fall away, 
])ecause they feel themselves to have attained some small 
degree of true grace. But the apostle makes use of this 
svipposition or possibility of his being a cast-away, as an 
inducement to them to be watchful; I keep under my 
body, lest, &c. Nevertheless the same apostle, at another 
time, in the sense and feeling of God's holy power, and in 
the dominion thereof, finding himself a conqueror there- 
through over sin and his soid's enemies, maketh no diffi- 
culty to affirm, Rom. viii. 38. " For I am persuaded that 
neither death nor life," &c. which clearly sheweth that he 
had attained a condition from which he knew he could 
not fall away. 

But secondly, It appears such a condition is attainable, 
because we are exhorted to it; and the Scripture never 
proposeth to us things impossible. Such an exhortation 
we have from the apostle, 2 Pet. i. 10. " Wherefore the 
rather, brethren, give dihgence to make your calling and 
election sure. And though there be a condition here 
proposed, yet since we have already proved that it is pos- 
sible to fulfil this condition, then also the promise annexed 
thereunto may be attained. And since, where assurance 
is wanting, there is still a place left for doublings and de- 
spairs, if we should affirm it never attainable, then should 



there never be a place known by the saints in this world, 
wherein they might be free of doubting and despair. 

Thirdly, God hath given to many of his saints and chil- 
dren, and is ready to give unto all, a full and certain as- 
surance that they are his, and that no power shall be able 
to pluck them out of his hand. But this assurance would 
be no assurance, if those who are so assured were not 
established and confirmed beyond all doubt and hesita- 
tion: if so, then surely there is no possibility for such to 
miss of that which God hath assured them of. And that 
there is such assurance attainable in this life, the Scrip- 
ture abundantly declareth, both in general and as to par- 
ticular persons. As Rev. iii. 12. " Him that overcometh 
will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall 
go no more out," &c. which containeth a general promise 
unto all. 


Concerning the Ministry. 

As by the light or gift of God all true knowledge in things 
spiritual is received and revealed, so by the same, as it 
is manifested and received in the heart, by the strength 
and power thereof, every true minister of the gospel is 
ordained, prepared, and supplied in the work of the 
ministry; and by the leading, moving, and drawing 
hereof ought every evangelist and Cfln'istian pastor to 
be led and ordered in his labour and work of the gos- 
pel, both as to the place where, as to the persons to 



whom, and as to the time wherein he is to minister. 
Moreover, they who have this authority may and ought 
to preach the gospel, though without human commis- 
sion or hterature; as on the other hand, they who want 
the authority of this divine gift, however learned, or 
authorized by the commission of men and churches, are 
not to be esteemed true ministers of the gospel. Also 
they who have received this holy and unspotted gift, as 
they have freely received it, so are they freely to give it, 
without hire or barffaininff, far less to use it as a Trade 
to get money by: yet if God hath called any from their 
employment or trades by which they acquire their liveli- 
hood, it may be lawful for such, according to the liberty 
which they feel given them in the Lord, to receive such 
temporals (to wit, what may be needful for them for 
meat and clothing) as are given them freely and cordi- 
ally by those to whom they have communicated spi- 

§. I. Hitherto I have treated of those things which 
relate to the Christian faith and Christians, as they stand 
each in his particular condition, and how and by what 
means every man may be a Christian indeed, and so abide. 
Now I come in order to speak of those things that relate 
to Christians, as they are placed in a joint fellowship, and 
come under a visible society, which society is called the 
church of God, and in Scripture compared to a body, and 
therefore named the body of Christ. As then in the natu- 
ral body there be divers members, all concurring to the 
common end of preserving the whole body, so in this 
spu-itual and mystical body there are also divers members, 
according to the different measures of grace and of the 
Spirit diversly administered unto each member; and from 
this diversity ariseth tliat distinction of persons in the 


visible society of Christians, as of apostles, pastors, evange- 
lists, ministers, &c. That which in this proposition is 
proposed, is, AVhat makes or constitutes any a minister 
of the church, what his quahfications ought to be, and how 
he ought to behave himself? But because it may seem 
somewhat preposterous to speak of the distinct offices of 
the church, until something be said of the church in gene- 
ral, I shall briefly premise something thereof, and then 
proceed to the particular members of it. 

§. II. The Church then, as it is used in the holy Scrip- 
ture, signifies an assembly or gathering of many into one 
place * ; and indeed, as this is the grammatical sense of 
the word, so also it is the proper signification of the thing, 
the church being no other thing but the society, or com- 
pany of such as God hath called out of the world, and 
worldly spirit, to walk in his Light and Life. The 
church then is to be considered, as it comprehends all that 
are thus called and gathered truly by God, both such as 
are yet in this world, and such as having already laid 
down the earthly tabernacle, are passed into their hea- 
venly mansions, which together do make up the one 
catholic church. Out of which church we freely acknow- 
ledge there can be no salvation; because under this 
church and its denomination are comprehended all, and 
as many, of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people 
they be, though outwardly strangers, and remote from 
those who profess Christ and Christianity in words, and 
have the benefit of the Scriptures, as become obedient to 
the holy light and testimony of God in their hearts, so as 
to become sanctified by it, and cleansed from the evils of 
their ways. For this is the universal or catholic spirit, 

" The substantive tH-KX-naut comes from the word jxxaxiw, / call out of, 
aiul orginally from xaXfw, / cull. 


by which many arc called from all the four corners of the 
earth, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob : 
by this the secret life and virtue of Jesus is conveyed into 
many that are afar off, even as by the blood that runs into 
the veins and arteries of the natural body the hfe is con- 
veyed from the head and heart unto the extreme parts. 
There may be members] therefore of this catholic church 
both among heathens, Turks, Jews, and all the several 
sorts of Christians, men and women of integrity and sim- 
plicity of heart, who though blinded in some things in 
their understanding, and perhaps burdened with the super- 
stitions of the several sects in which they are included, 
yet being upright in their hearts before the Lord, chiefly 
aiming to be delivered from iniquity, and loving to follow 
righteousness, are by the secret touches of this holy light 
in their souls enlivened, thereby secretly united to God, 
and there-through become true members of this catholic 
church. Now the church in this respect hath had a being 
in all generations ; for God never wanted some such wit- 
nesses for him, though many times slighted, and not much 
observed by this world ; and therefore this church, though 
still in being, hath been oftentimes as it were invisible, in 
that it hath not come under the observations of men of 
this world, being, as saith the Scripture, Jer. iii. 14. " one 
of a city, and two of a family." And yet though the 
church thus considered may be as it were hid from wicked 
men, as not then gathered into a visible fellowship, and 
not observed even by some that are members of it, yet 
may there notwithstanding many belong to it, as when 
EUas complained he was left alone, 1 Kings xix. 18. God 
answered him, I have reserved to myself seven thousand 
men, who have not bowed their knees to the image of 
Baal; whence the apostle argues, Rom. xi. the being of a 
remnant in his da v. 


§. III. Secondly, The church is to be consitlered as it 
signifies a certain number of persons gathered by God's 
Spirit, and by the testimony of some of his servants raised 
up for that end, unto the belief of the true doctrines of 
the Christian faith, who through their hearts being united 
by the same love, and their understandings informed in 
the same truths, assemble together to Avait upon God, to 
worship him, and to bear a joint testimony for the truth 
against error, and willingly to suffer for the same, and so 
becoming through this fellowship as one family and house- 
hold in certain respects, do each of them watch over, in- 
struct, and care one for another, according to their seve- 
ral attainments: such were the churches of the primitive 
times gathered by the apostles. And as to the visibility of 
the church in this respect, there hath been a great inter- 
ruption since the apostles' days, by reason of the apos- 

§. IV. To be a member then of the catholic church, 
there is need of the inward calling of God by his light in 
the heart, and a being leavened into the nature and spirit 
of it, so as to forsake unrighteousness and be turned to 
righteousness, to be cut out of the wild olive-tree of our 
own first fallen nature, and ingrafted into Christ by his 
Word and Spirit in the heart. 

To be a member of a particular church of Christ, as 
this inward work is indispensably necessary, so is also the 
outward profession of, and belief in, Jesus Christ, and 
those holy truths delivered by his Spirit in the Scrip- 
tures ; seeing the testimony of the Spirit recorded in the 
Scriptures, doth answer the testimony of the same Spirit 
in the heart, even as face answereth face in a glass. Hence 
it follows, that the inward work of holiness, and forsaking 
iniquity, is necessary in every respect to the being a mem- 
ber hi the church of Christ; and that the outward pro- 


fession is necessary to l)e a member of a particular gather- 
ed church, but not to the being a member of the catholic 

§. VII. That which comes first to be questioned in this 
matter, is concerning the call of a minister ; to wit, What 
maketh, or how conieth a man to be, a minister, pastor, or 
teacher in the church of Christ? 

We answer ; By the inward power and vu'tue of the 
Spirit of God. For, Having received the true knowledge 
of things spiritual by the Spirit of God, without which 
they cannot be known, and being by the same in measure 
purified and sanctified, he comes thereby to be called and 
moved to minister to others; being able to speak, from a 
living experience, of that of which he himself is a witness; 
and therefore knowing the terror of the Lord, he is fit to 
persuade men, &c. 2 Cor. v. 11. and his words and minis- 
try, proceeding from the inward power and virtue, reach 
to the heart of his hearers, and make them approve of 
him. Our opponents are forced to confess, that this were 
indeed desirable and best; but this they will not have to 
be absolutely necessary. I shall first prove the necessity 
of it, and then shew how much they err in that which 
they make more necessary than this divine and heavenly 

First; That which is necessary to make a man a Chris- 
tian, so as without it he cannot be truly one, must be more 
necessary to make a man a minister of Christianity. They 
that are not Christians, cannot be teachers and ministers 
among Christians. 

But this inward call and virtue of the Spirit of God, is 
necessary to make a man a Christian ; according to these 
Scriptures, " He that hath not the Spirit of Christ, is 
none of his." " As many as are led by the Spirit of God, 
iire the sons of God:" 


Therefore tliis call, moving and drawing of the Spirit, 
must be more necessary to make a minister. 

Secondly, All ministers of the New Testament ought 
to be ministers of the Spirit, and not of the letter, accord- 
ing to that of 2 Cor. iii. 6. " Not by the letter, but by the 
Spirit." But how can a man be a minister of the Spirit, 
who is not inwardly called by it, and who looks not upon 
the operation and testimony of the Spirit as essential to 
his call? As he could not be a minister of the letter who 
had thence no ground for his call, yea, who was altoge- 
ther unacquainted with it, so neither can he be a minister 
of the Spirit who is unacquainted with the motions thereof, 
and knows it not to draw and move him, and go before 
him in the work of the ministry. I would willingly know, 
how those that take upon them to be ministers of the 
gospel, merely from an outward vocation, without so much 
as being any ways sensible of the work of the Spirit, or 
any inward call therefrom, can either satisfy themselves 
or others that they are ministers of the Spirit, or wherein 
they dift'er fiom the ministers of the letter? For, 

Thirdly; If this inward testimony of the Spirit were 
not essential to a minister, then the ministry of the New 
Testament would not only be no ways preferable to, but 
in divers respects far worse than, that of the law. For 
under the law there was a certain tribe allotted for thie 
ministry, and of that tribe certain families set apart for 
the priesthood and other offices, by the immediate com- 
mand of God to Moses ; so that the people needed not be 
in any doubt who should be priests and muiisters of the 
holy things: and besides this, God called forth, by the 
immediate testimony of his Spirit, several at divers times 
to teach and reprove his i)eo})lc, as Samuel, Nathan, Elias, 
Elisha, Jeremiah, Amos, i>ud many more: but now under 
the new covenant, where the ministry ought to be more 


spiritual, the way more certain, and tlie access more easy 
unto the Lord, our opponents, by denying the necessity 
of this inward and spiritual vocation, make it quite other- 
wise. For there being now no certain family or tribe to 
which the ministry is limited, we are left in uncertainty, 
to choose pastors at a venture, without any certain assent 
of the will of God; having not an outward rule in this 
affair to walk by. 

Fourthly; Christ proclaims them all thieves and rob- 
bers, that enter not by him the door into the sheepfold, 
but climb up some other way; whom the sheep ought not 
to hear: but such as come in without the call and leadings 
of the Spirit of Christ, wherewith he leads his children 
into all truth, come in certainly not by Christ, who is the 
door, but some other way,and therefore are not true shep- 

§. VIII. To all this they object the succession of the 
church; alleging, That since Christ gave a call to his 
apostles and disciples, they have conveyed that call to 
their successors, having power to ordain pastors and 
teachers ; by which power the authority of ordaining and 
making ministers and pastors is successively conveyed to 
us; so that such, who are ordained and called by the 
pastors of the church, are therefore true and lawful 
ministers; and others, who are not so called, are to be 
accounted but intruders. Hereunto also some Protestants 
add a necessity, though they make it not a thing essential ; 
That besides this calling of the church, every one, being 
called, ought to have the inward call of the Spirit, inclin- 
ing him, so chosen, to his work. 

As to what is subjoined of the inward call of the 
Spirit, in that they make it not essential to a true call, 
but a supererogation as it were, it sheweth how little they 
set by it. Yet, in that it hath been often mentioned, 


especially by the primitive Protestants in their treatises on 
this subject, it shewetli how much they were secretly con- 
vinced in their minds, that this inward call of the Spirit 
was most excellent, and preferable to any other ; and 
therefore in the most noble acts of the reformation, they 
laid claim unto it ; so that many of the primitive Pro- 
testants did not scruple both to reject and disown this out- 
ward call, when urged by the Papists against them. But 
now Protestants, having gone from the testimony of the 
Spirit, plead for the same succession ; and being pressed 
with the example of their forefathers' practice against 
Rome, they are not at all ashamed utterly to deny that 
their fathers were called to the work by the immediate 
vocation of the Spirit ; clothing themselves with that call, 
which they say their forefathers had, as pastors of the 
Roman church. 

§. X. But against this vain succession, as asserted 
either by the Papists or Protestants as a necessary thing 
to the call of a minister, I answer; That such as plead for it, 
as a sufficient or necessary thing to the call of a minister, do 
thereby sufficiently declare their ignorance of the nature of 
Christianity, and how much they are strangers to the Ufe 
and power of a Christian ministry, which is not entailed by 
succession, as an outward inheritance ; and herein they not 
only make the gospel not better than the law, but even far 
short of it. For Jesus Christ, as he regarded not any dis- 
tinct particular family or nation in the gathering of his 
children ; but only such as are joined to his own piu-e and 
righteous seed, so neither regards he a bare outward suc- 
cession, where his pure and righteous life is wanting. lie 
took not the nations into the new covenant, that he might 
suffer them to fall into the old errors of the Jews, or to ap- 
prove them in their errors, but that he might gather unto 
himself a pure people out of the earth. INow this was the 


great error of the Jews, to tliink tliey were the cliiirch and 
people of God, because they could derive their outward 
succession from Abraham, whereby they reckoned them- 
seh'cs the chikh-en of God, as being the offspring of Abra- 
ham, who was the Father of the FaithfuL But how severe- 
ly doth the Scripture rebuke this vain pretence ? 'J'elling 
them, That God is able of the stones to raise children 
unto Abraham ; and that not the outward seed, but those 
that were found in the faith of Abraham, are the true 
children of faithful Abraham. Far less then can this pre- 
tence hold among Christians, seeing Christ rejects all out- 
ward affinity of that kind: These, saith he, are my mother, 
brethren, and sisters, who do the will of my Father which 
is in heaven: And again; He looked round about him, 
and said, Who shall do the will of God, these, saith he, 
are my brethren. So then, such as do not the commands 
of Christ, are not found clothed with his righteousness, are 
not his disciples; and that which a man hath not, he cannot 
give to another ; and it is clear, that no man, nor church, 
though truly called of God, and as such having the autho- 
rity of a church and minister, can any longer retain that 
authority, than they retain the power, life, and righteous- 
ness of Christianity; for the form is entailed to the sub- 
stance, and not the substance to the form. So that when 
a man ceaseth inwardly in his heart to be a Christian by 
turning to Satan, and becoming a reprobate, he is no more 
a Christian, though he retain the name and form, than a 
dead man is a man, though he hath the image of one. As 
death then makes such interruption of an outward natural 
succession, that no art nor outward form can uphold, and 
as a dead man, after he is dead, can have no issue, neither 
can dead unages of men make living men : so that it is the 
living that are only capable to succeed one another ; and 
.•buch as die, as soon as they die, cease to succeed, or to 


transmit succession. So it is in spiritual things; it is the 
Hfe of Christianity, taking place in the heart, that makes a 
Christian; and so it is a number of such, heing alive, joined 
together in the life of Christianity, that makes a church of 
Christ ; and it is all those that are thus alive, consideretl 
together, that make the catholic church of Christ : there- 
fore when this hfe ceaseth in one, then that one ceaseth to 
be a Christian ; and all virtue and authority, vi^hich he had 
as a Christian, ceaseth with it ; so that if he hath been a 
minister or teacher, he ceaseth to be so any more. And as 
this is most agreeable to reason, so it is to the Scriptures' 
testimony ; for it is said of Judas, Acts i. 25. That Judas 
fell from his ministry and apostleship by transgression ; so 
his transgression caused him to cease to be an apostle any 
more : whereas, had the apostleship been entailed to his 
person, so that transgression could not cause him to lose it, 
until he had been formally degraded by the church, (which 
Judas never was so long as he lived,) Judas had been as 
really an apostle, after he betrayed Christ, as before. 
From all which I infer, That since the authority of the 
Christian church and her pastors is always united with, 
and never separated from, the inward power, virtue, and 
righteous life of Christianity; where this ceaseth, that 
ceaseth also. But our opponents acknowledge. That 
many, if not most of those, by and through whom they de- 
rive this authority, were altogether destitute of this life and 
virtue of Christianity : therefore they could neither receive, 
have, nor transmit any Christian authority. 

But if it be objected, That though the generality of the 
bishops and priests of the church of Rome, during the 
apostasy, were wicked men; yet Protestants affirm, and 
thou thyself seemest to acknowledge, that there were some 
good men among them, whom the Lord regarded, and who 


were true members of the catholic church of Christ ; might 
not they then have transmitted this authority? 

I answer ; This saith nothing, in respect Protestants do 
not at all lay claim to their ministry as transmitted to them 
by a direct hne of good men; which they can never show, 
nor yet pretend to : but generally place this succession 
as inherent in the whole pastors of the apostate church. 
Neither do they plead their call to be good, because they 
can derive it through a line of good men, observably dis- 
tinguishable from the rest of the bishops and clergy of the 
Romish church ; but they derive it as an authority residing 
in the whole. 

Moreover, this pretended succession is contrary to Scrip- 
ture definitions, and the nature of the church of Christ, 
and of the true members. For, first, The church is the 
House of God, the pillar and ground of truth, 1 Tim. iii. 
15. But according to this doctrine, the house of God is a 
polluted nest of all sorts of wickedness, made up of the 
most defiled and perverse stones that are in the earth. For 
so our opponents confess, and history informs, the church 
of Rome to have been ; and if that be truly the house of 
God, what may we call the house of Satan ? Or may we 
call it therefore the house of God, notwithstanding all this 
impiety, because they have a bare form, and that vitiated 
many ways also ; and because they pretended to the name 
of Christianity, though they were antichristian in their 
general conduct and spirit, and also in many of their prin- 
ciples ? 

Secondly, The church is defined to be the kingdom of 
the dear Son of God, into which the saints are translated, 
being delivered from the power of darkness. It is called 
the body of Christ, which, from him by joints and bands 
having nourishment ministered and knit together, increas- 
eth with the increase of God, Coll. ii. 19. But can such 


members, such a gathering as we have demonstrated that 
church to be, among whom they allege their pretended 
authority to have been preserved, and through which they 
derive their call ; can such, I say, be the body of Christ, or 
members thereof? 

§. XII. Some unwise and unwary Protestants do some- 
times object to us, That if we have such an immediate call 
as we lay claim to, we ought to confirm it by miracles. 

But this being an objection once and again urged against 
the primitive Protestants by the Papists, we need but in 
short return the answer to it that they did to the Papists, 
to wit. That we need not miracles, because we preach no 
new gospel, but that which is already confirmed by all the 
miracles of Christ and his apostles ; and that we offer no- 
thing but that which we are ready and able to confirm by 
the testimony of the Scriptures, which both already ac- 
knowledge to be true. 

§. XIV. From all this then we do firmly conclude, that 
not only in a general apostasy it is needful men be extra- 
ordinarily called, and raised up by the Spirit of God, but 
that even when several churches are gathered by the power 
of God, not only into the belief of the principles of truth, so 
as to deny errors and heresies, but also into the life, spirit, 
and power of Christianity, so as to be the body of Christ 
indeed, and a fit spouse for him, that he who gathers them 
doth also, for the preserving them in a lively and powerful 
condition, raise up among them, by the inward immediate 
operation of his own Spirit, ministers and teachers, to in- 
struct and watch over them, who being thus called, are 
manifest in the hearts of their brethren, and their call is 
thus verified in them, who by the feeling of that life and 
power that passeth through them, being inwardly builded 
up by them daily in the most holy faith, become the seals 
of their apostleship. And this is answerable to another 



saying of the same apostle Paul, 2 Cor. xiii. 3. " Since ye 
seek a proof of Christ's speaking in me, which to you-wards 
is not Aveak, but is mighty in you." So this is that which 
gives a true substantial call and title to a minister, whereby 
he is a real successor of the virtue and power that was in 
the apostles, and not of the bare name : and to such minis- 
ters we think the outward ceremony of ordination or laying 
on of hands not necessary, neither can we see the use of it, 
seeing our opponents who use it acknowledge that the vir- 
tue of communicating the Holy Ghost by it is ceased among 

§. XV. As I have placed the true call of a minister in 
the motion of this Holy Spirit, so is the power, life, and 
virtue thereof, and the pure grace of God that comes 
therefrom, the most necessary qualification, without which 
he can no ways perform his duty, neither acceptably to 
God nor beneficially to men. Our opponents in this case 
affirm, that three things go to the making up of a minister, 
viz. 1. Natural parts, that he be not a fool. 2. Acquired 
parts, that he be learned in the languages, in philosophy 
and school divinity, 3. The grace of God. 

The two first they reckon necessary to the being of a 
minister, so as a man cannot be one without them; the 
third they say goeth to the well-being of one, but not to 
the being ; so that a man may truly be a lawful minister 
without it, and ought to be heard and received as such. 
But we, supposing a natural capacity, that one be not an 
ideot, judge the grace of God indispensably necessary to 
the very being of a minister, as that without which none 
can either be a true, or lawful, or good minister. 

If the grace of God be a necessary qualification to make 
one a true Christian, it must be a qualification much more 
necessary to constitute a true minister of Christianity. 
That grace is necessary to make one a true Christian, I 


think will not be questioned, since it is by grace we are 
saved, Eph. ii. 8. It is the grace of God that teaches us 
to deny ungodliness, and the lusts of this world, and to 
live godlily and righteously, Tit. ii. 11. Yea, Christ saith 
expressly. That without him we can do nothing, John 
XV. 5. and the way whereby Christ helpeth and worketh 
with us is by his grace: hence he saith to Paul, " my grace 
is sufficient for thee." 

Secondly, No man can be a minister of the church of 
Christ, which is his body, unless he be a member of the 
body, and receive of the virtue and life of the head: 

But he that hath not true grace can neither be a member 
of the body, neither receive of that Ufe and nourishment 
which comes from the head : 

Therefore far less can he be a minister to edify the 

§. XVI. Thirdly, That this grace and gift is a necessary 
qualification to a minister, is clear from that of the apostle 
Peter, 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11. " As every man hath received the 
o-ift, even so minister the same one to another, as good 
stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, 
let him speak as the oracles of God : if any man minister, 
let him do it as of the ability which God giveth ; that God 
in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ; to 
whom be praise and dominion for ever, Amen." From 
which it appears, that those that minister must minister 
according to the gift and grace received. Secondly, As 
good stewards of the manifold grace of God : but how can 
a man be a good steward of that which he hath not ? And 
therefore he makes an exclusive limitation of such as are 
not thus furnished, saying. If any man speak, let him 
speak as the oracles of God ; and if any man minister, let 
him do it as of the ability that God giveth : which is as 
much as if he had said, they that cannot thus speak, and 


thus minister, ought not to do it: for this if denotes a ne- 
cessary condition. Now what this abihty is, is manifest by 
the former words, to wit, the gift received, and the grace 
whereof they are stewards, as by the immediate context 
doth appear. Neither can it be understood of a mere 
natural ability, because man in this condition is said not to 
know the things of God, and so he cannot minister them 
to others. And the following words shew this also, in that 
he immediately subjoineth, that God in all things may be 
glorified ; but surely God is not glorified, but greatly dis- 
honoured, when natural men, from their mere natural abi- 
lity, meddle in spiritual things, which they neither know 
nor understand. 

Fourthly, That grace is a most necessary qualification 
for a minister, appears by those qualifications which the 
apostle expressly requires, 1 Tim. iii. %. Tit. i. &c. where 
he saith, " A bishop must be blameless, vigilant, sober, of 
good behaviour, apt to teach, patient, a lover of good men, 
just, holy, temperate, as the steward of God, holding fast 
the faithful word as he hath been taught." Upon the 
other hand, " He must neither be given to wine, nor a 
striker, nor covetous, nor proud, nor self-willed, nor soon 
angry." Now I ask if it be not impossible that a man can 
have all these virtues, and be free of all these evils, without 
the grace of God? If then these virtues, for the produc- 
mg of which in a man grace is absolutely necessary, be 
necessary to make a true minister of the church of Christ, 
according to the apostle's judgment, this grace must be 
necessary also. 

§. XVII. Against this absolute necessity of grace they 
object. That if all ministers had the saving grace of God, 
then all ministers should be saved, seeing none can fall 
away from or lose saving grace. 



But this objection is built upon a false hypothesis, clear- 
ly denied by us, as we have in the former proposition con- 
cerning perseverance already refuted it. 

Secondly, It may be objected to us, That since we 
affirm that every man hath a measure of true and saving 
grace, there needs no singular quaUfication either to a 
Christian or minister; for seeing every man hath this 
grace, then no man needs forbear to be a minister for 
want of grace. 

I answer, We have above shewn that there is necessary 
to the making a minister a special and particular call from 
the Spirit of God, which is something besides the universal 
dispensation of grace to all, according to that of the apostle, 
*' No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is 
called of God, as was Aaron." Moreover, we understand 
by grace as a qualification to a minister, not the mere 
measure of light, as it is given to reprove and call him to 
righteousness ; but we understand grace as it hath con- 
verted the sovU, and operateth powerfully in it. So we 
understand not men simply as having grace in them as a 
seed ; which we indeed affirm all have in a measure ; but 
we understand men that are gracious, leavened by it into 
the nature thereof, so as thereby to bring forth those good 
fruits of a blameless conversation, and of justice, holiness, 
patience, and temperance, which the apostle requires as 
necessary in a true Christian bishop and minister. 

§. XYIII. Though we make not human learning neces- 
sary ; yet we are far from excluding true learning; to wit, 
that learning which proceedeth from the inward teachings 
of the Spirit, whereby the soul learneth the secret ways of 
the Lord ; becomes acquainted with many inward travails 
and exercises of the mhid; and learneth, by a living expe- 
rience, how to overcome evil and the temptations of it, by 
following the Lord and walking in his light, and waiting 



daily tor wisdom and knowledge innnediately from the 
revelation thereof. This is that good learning which we 
think necessary to a true minister, by and through which 
learning a man can well instruct and admonish in due sea- 
son, and testify for God from a certain experience ; as did 
David, Solomon, and the holy prophets of old, and the 
blessed apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, who testified of 
what they had seen, heard, felt, and handled of the word 
of life, 1 John i. 1, " Ministering the gift according as they 
received the same, as good stewards of the manifold grace 
of God." 

§. XIX. But let us examine this literature, wliich they 
make so necessary to the being of a minister; as, for in- 
stance, the knowledge of the tongues, at least of the Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew. The reason of this is, That they 
may read the Scripture, which is their only rule, in the 
original languages, and thereby be the more capable to 
comment upon it, and interpret it, &c. That also w^hicli 
made this knowledge be the more prized by the primitive 
Protestants, was indeed the dark barbarity that was over 
the world in the centuries immediately preceding the 
Reformation. I shall not at all discommend the zeal that 
the first reformers had against this darkness, nor their 
pious endeavours to translate the holy Scriptures : I do 
trvdy believe that they did it candidly according to their 
knowledge : and therefore to answer the just desires of 
those that desire to read them: and for other very good 
reasons, as maintaining a commerce and understanding 
among divers nations by these common languages, and 
others of that kind, we judge it necessary and commend- 
able that there be public schools for the teaching such 
youth, as are inclinable thereunto, in the languages. And 
although that papal ignorance deserved justly to be ab- 
horred, we see nevertheless, that the true reformation con- 
-^ IM 'i 


sists not in that knowledge ; because although since that 
time the Papists, stirred up through emulation of the 
Protestants, have more applied themselves to literature, 
and it now more flourishes in their universities and clois- 
ters, than before, they are as far now as ever from a true 
reformation, and more hardened in their pernicious doc- 
trines. But all this will not make it a necessary qualifica- 
tion to a minister, far less a more necessaiy qualification 
than the grace of God and his Spirit ; because the Spirit 
and grace of God can make up this want in the most rustic 
and ignorant; but this knowledge can no ways make up 
the want of the Spirit in the most learned and eloquent. 

§. XXIII. If in any age since the apostles' days, God 
hath purposed to shew his power by weak instruments, for 
the battering down of that carnal and heathenish wisdom, 
[in the form of logic and school divinity, of which the 
author had been treating in the original,] and restoring 
again the ancient simplicity of truth, this is it*. For in 
our day, God hath raised up witnesses for himself, as he 
did fishermen of old ; most of whom are labouring and 
mechanic men, who, altogether without that learning, have, 
by the power and Spirit of God, struck at tlie very root 
and ground of Babylon ; and in the strength of this power,, 
have gathered thousands, by reaching their consciences, 
into the same power and life, who, as to the outward part,, 
have been far more knowing than they, yet not able to re- 
sist the virtue that proceeded from them. Of which I my- 
self am a true witness ; and can declai^ from certain expe- 
rience, because my heart hath been often greatly tendered 
by that virtuous life that proceeded from the powerful 

* The time will come when a few words, spoken with meekness, 
humility, and love, shall be moi-e acceptable than volumes of contro- 
versies, which commonly destroy charity, which is the very best part of 
the true religion.— 


ministry of those illiterate men : so that by their very 
countenance, as well as words, I have felt the evil in me 
often chained down, and the good reached to and raised. 

§. XXIV. Having thus spoken of the call and qualifi- 
cations of a gospel-minister, that which comes next to be 
considered is, What his jH'oper work is, how, and by what 
Tule, he is to be ordered ? Our opponents do all along 
go upon externals, and therefore have certain prescribed 
rules contrived according to their human wisdom : we, on 
the contrary, walk still upon the same foundation, and 
lean always upon the immediate assistance and influence of 
that Holy Spirit, which God hath given his children, to 
teach them all things, and lead them in all things : which 
Spirit, being the Spirit of order, and not of confusion, 
leads us, and as many as follow it, into such a comely 
order as becometh the church of God. For in a true 
church of Christ, gathered together by God, not only into 
the belief of the principles of truth, but also into the power, 
life, and Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God is the ruler and 
governor; as in each particular, so in the general. And 
when they assemble together to wait upon God, and to 
worship him ; then such as the Spirit sets apart for the 
ministry, by its divine influence opening their mouths, and 
giving them to exhort, reprove, and instruct with virtue 
and power, these are thus ordained of God and admitted 
into the ministry, and their brethren cannot but hear 
them, receive them, and also honour them for their work's 
sake. And so this is not monopolized by a certain kind of 
men, as the clergy, and the rest to be excluded as laicks; 
but it is left to the free gift of God to choose any whom he 
seeth meet, whether rich or poor, servant or master, young 
or old, yea, male or female. 

§. XXV. But if it be objected here, That I seem here- 
by to make no distinction at all betwixt ministers and 

1C6 ruoFosiTioN X. 

others; which is contrary to the apostle's saying, 1 Cor. 
xii. 29. " Are all apostles ? Are all prophets 'i Are all 
teachers?" &c. From whence they insinuate, that all are 
not such, and that I also contradict his comparison in that 
chapter, of the church of Christ with a human body ; as 
where he saith, verse 17. " If the whole body were an eye, 
where were the hearing? If the M'hole were hearing, where 
were the smelling," ike. Also the apostle not only distin- 
guisheth the ministers of the church in general from the 
rest of the members, but also from themselves ; as naming 
them distinctly and separately, apostles, prophets, evan- 
gehsts, pastors, teachers, &c. 

As to the last part of this objection, to which I shall 
first answer ; it is apparent, that this diversity of names is 
not to distinguish separate offices, but to denote the dif- 
ferent and various operations of the Spirit ; a manner of 
speech frequent with the apostle Paul, wherein he some- 
times expatiates to the illustrating of the glory and praise 
of God's grace : as in particular, Rom. xii. 6. " Having 
then gifts differing according to the grace that is given us, 
whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the pro- 
portion of faith ; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; 
or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on 
exhortation." Now none will say from all this, that these 
are distinct oflices, or do not or may not coincide in one 
person, as may all those other things mentioned by him in 
the subsequent verses, viz. Of loving, being kindly aflec- 
tioned, fervency of spirit, hospitality, diligence, blessing, 
rejoicing, &c. which he yet numbers forth as different gifts 
of the Spirit, and according to this objection might be 
placed as distinct offices, which were most absurd. 

Secondly, In these very places it is clear that it is no real 
distinction of separate offices; because all acknowledge, 
that pastors and teachers, (wiiich the apostle there no less 


distinguishetli, than pastors and prophets, or apostles,) are 
one and the same, and coincide in the same ofllce and per- 
son; and therefore may be said so of the rest. For i)ro~ 
phecy, as it signifies the foretelHng of things to come, is 
indeed a distinct gift, but no distinct office ; and therefore 
our opponents do not place it among their several orders : 
neither will they deny, but that it both may be and hath 
been given of God not only to some, who have been pas- 
tors and teachers, and that there it hath comcided in one 
person with these other offices, but also to some of the 
laicks: and so it hath been found, according to their own 
confession, without the limits of their clergy. Prophecy 
in the other sense, to wit, as it signifies a speaking from 
the Spirit of truth, is not pecuHar to pastors and teachers, 
who ought so to prophesy ; but is a common privilege to 
the saints. For though to instruct and exhort, be proper 
to such as are more particularly called to the work of the 
ministry ; yet it is not so proper to them, as not to be 
(when the saints are met together, as any of them are 
moved by the Spirit) common to others. Thus to see and 
hear are proper acts of a man ; seeing it may be properly 
predicated of him, that he heareth and seeth : yet are they 
common to other creatures also. So to prophesy in this 
sense, is indeed pi'oper to ministers and teachers ; yet not 
so, but that it is common and lawful to other saints, when 
moved thereunto. Now that prophesying, in this sense, 
may be common to all saints, appears by 1 Cor. xiv. 39. 
where speaking to all in general, he saith, " Wherefore, 
brethren, covet to prophesy;" and verse 1. he exhorts 
them, saying, " Desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye 
may prophesy." 

Lastly, An apostle, if we look to the etymology of the 
word, signifies one that is sent; and in respect every 
true minister is sent of God, in so far he is an apostle; 


though the twelve, because of their being specially sent of 
Christ, were therefore called apostles by way of excellency. 
And yet that there was no limitation to such a number, 
appears, because after that number was filled up, the 
apostle Paul was afterwards so called ; therefore we judge 
that these are no distinct separate offices, but only names 
used upon occasion to express the more eminent shining 
forth of God's grace. .A.s if any minister of Christ should 
now proselyte a whole nation to the Christian faith, though 
he had no distinct office, yet I doubt not but that both 
Papists and Protestants would judge it tolerable to call 
such an one an apostle, or an evangelist. So that to con- 
clude that ministers, pastors, or teachers, do comprehend 
all, and that the office is but one, and therefore in that 
respect we judge there ought to be no precedency among 

§. XXVI. As to the first part of the objection, viz. 
That I seem to make no distinction betwixt the minister 
and people, I answer, If it be understood of a liberty to 
speak or prophesy by the Spirit, I say all may do that, 
when moved thereunto ; but we do believe that some are 
more particularly called to the work of the ministry, and 
therefore are fitted of the Lord for that purpose; whose 
work is more constantly and particularly to instruct, ex- 
hort, and watch over their brethren ; and that as there is 
something more incumbent upon them in that respect 
than upon every common believer, so also, as in that rela- 
tion, there is due to them from the flock such obedience as 
is mentioned in these testimonies of the Scripture, Heb. 
xiii. 17. 1 Thess. v. L'2, VS. 1 Tim. v. 17. 1 Pet. v. 5. 
Also besides these who are thus particularly called to the 
ministry, and constant labour in the word and doctrine, 
there are also the elders, who though they be not moved 
to a frequent testimony by way of declaration hi words, yet 


Rs such are grown up in tlie experience of the blessed 
work of truth in their hearts, they watch over and private- 
ly admonish the young, take care for the widows, the 
poor, and fatherless, and look that nothing be wanting, 
but that peace, love, and soundness be preserved in the 
church of Christ ; and this answers to the deacons men- 
tioned Acts vi. 

That which we oppose, is the distinction of laity and 
clergy, which in the Scripture is not to be found, whereby 
none are admitted unto the work of the ministry but such 
as are educated at schools on purpose. 

§. XXVII. From this distinction of laity and clergy 
this abuse also follows, that good, honest, and mechanic 
men, and others who have not learned the art of preach- 
ing, and so are not privileged according to these rules 
they prescribe unto themselves ; such, I say, being pos- 
sessed with a false opinion that it is not lawful for them 
to meddle with the ministry, nor that they are any ways fit 
for it, because of the defect of that hterature, do thereby 
neglect the gift in themselves, and quench many times the 
pure breathings of the Spirit of God in their hearts; 
which, if given way to, might prove much more for the 
edification of the church than many of the studied ser- 
mons of the learned. 

By this it may appear, that as in calling and qualifying, 
so in preaching and praying, and the other particular 
steps of the ministry, every true minister is to know the 
Spirit of God by its virtue and life to accompany and 
assist him. 

Before I proceed I judge it fit to speak something con- 
cerning the preaching of women, and to declare briefly 
what we hold in that matter. 

Seeing male and female are one in Christ Jesus, and 
that he gives his Spirit no less to one than to the other, 


we judge it no ways unlawful for a woman to preach in 
the assemblies of God's people. Neither think we that 
of Paul, 1 Cor. xiv. 34. to reprove the inconsiderate and 
talkative women among the Corinthians, who troubled the 
church of Christ with their unprofitable questions, or that, 
1 Tim. ii. 11, 1^. that women ought to learn in silence, 
not usurping authority over the man, any ways repugnant 
to this doctrine; because it is clear that women have pro- 
phesied and preached in the church, else had that saying 
of Joel been ill applied by Peter, Acts ii. 17. And seeing 
Paul himself, in the same epistle to the Corinthians, givetli 
rules how women should behave themselves in their pub- 
lic preaching and praying, it would be a manifest contra- 
diction if that other place were taken in a larger sense. 
And the same Paul speaks of a woman * that laboured 
with him in the work of the gospel : and it is written that 
Philip had four daughters that prophesied. And Lastly, 
It hath been observed, that God hath effectually in this 
day converted many souls by the ministry of women ; and 
by them also frequently comforted the souls of his chil- 
dren; which manifest experience puts the thing beyond 
all controversy. But now I shall proceed to speak of the 
maintenance of ministers. 

§. XXVIII. We freely acknowledge, as the proposition 
holds forth, that there is an obligation upon such to whom 
God sends, or among whom he raiseth up a minister, that, if 
need be, they minister to his necessities. Secondly, That 
it is lawful for him to receive what is necessary and con- 
venient. To prove this I need not insist, for our oppo- 
nents will readily grant it to us ; for the thing we affirm is, 
that this is all that these Scripture testimonies relating to 
this thing do grant. Gal. vi. 6. 1 Cor. ix. 11, 12, 13, 14, 
1 Tim. v. IG. That which we then oppose in this matter 

■ Road, xcmiciu 

'of the mimistry. 171 

is, First, That it should he constrained and limited. 
Secondly, That it should be superfluous and sumptuous. 
And Thirdly, The manifest abuse thereof. 

As to the First, our opponents are forced to recur to 
the example of the law; a refuge they use in defending 
most of their errors and superstitions, which are contrary 
to the nature and purity of the gospel. 

They say, God appointed the Levites the tithes, there- 
fore they belong also to such as minister in holy things 
under the gospel. 

I answer, All that can be gathered from this is, that as 
the priests had a maintenance allowed them under the 
law, so also the ministers and preachers under the 
gospel, which is not denied ; but the comparison will not 
hold that they should have the very same; since, First, 
There is no express gospel command for it, neither by 
Christ nor his apostles. Secondly, The parity doth no 
ways hold betwixt the Levites under the law, and the 
preachers imder the gospel; because the Levites were 
one of the tribes of Israel, and so had a right to a part of 
the inheritance of the land as well as the rest of their 
brethren ; and having none, had this allotted to them in 
lieu of it. Next, the tenth of the tithes was only allowed 
to the priests that served at the altar, the rest being for 
the Levites, and also to be put up in store-houses, for en- 
tertaining widows and strangers. But these preachers, 
notwithstanding they inherit what they have by their pa- 
rents as well as other men, yet claim the whole tithes, al- 
lowing nothing either to widow or stranger. But as to 
the tithes I shall not insist, because divers others have 
clearly and learnedly treated of them apart, and also divers 
Protestants do confess them not to be jure divino; and 
the parity as to the quota doth not hold, but only in 
general as to the obligation of a maintenance; which main- 

173 riioposiTioN X. 

tenance, though the hearers be obliged to give, and fail 
of their duty if they do not, yet that it ought neither to be 
stinted, nor yet forced, I prove; because Christ, when he 
sent forth his apostles, said, " Freely ye have received, 
freely give," Mat. x. 8. and yet they had liberty to receive 
meat and drink from such as oiFered them, to supply their 

§. XXIX. Secondly, The Scripture testimonies that 
urge this are in the same nature as those that press charity 
and liberality towards the poor, and command hospitality, 
&c. but these are not nor can be stinted to a certan quan- 
tity, because they are deeds merely voluntary, where the 
obedience to the command lieth in the good will of the 
giver, and not in the matter of the thing given, as Christ 
sheweth in the example of the widow's mite. So that 
though there be an obligation upon Christians to minister 
of outward things to their ministers, yet there can be no 
definition of the quantity but by the giver's own consent, 
and a httle from one may more truly fulfil the obligation 
than a great deal from another. And therefore as acts of 
charity and hospitality can neither be limited nor forced, 
so neither can this. 

If it be objected. That ministers may and ought to ex- 
hort, persuade, yea, and earnestly press Christians, if they 
find them defective therein, to acts of charity and hospi- 
taUty, and so may they do also to the giving of mainte- 
nance; * 

I answer. All this saith nothing for a stinted and forced 
maintenance, for which there cannot one solid argument 
be brought from Scripture. I confess ministers may use 
exhortation in this as much as in any other case, even as 
the apostle did to the Corinthians, shewing them their 
duty ; but it were fit for ministers that so do (that their 
testimony might have the more weight, and be the freer 


of all suspicion of covetousness) that they might be able 
to say truly in the sight of God, that which the same 
apostle subjoins upon the same occasion, 1 Cor. ix. 15, 16, 
17, 18. "But I have used none of these things; neither 
have I written these things, that it should be so done unto 
me : for it were better for me to die, than that any man 
should make my glorying void. For though I preach the 
gospel I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid 
upon me, yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel. 
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward ; but if 
against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed 
unto me, what is my reward then ? Verily that when I 
preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ with- 
out charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel." 

Thirdly, As there is neither precept nor example for 
this forced and stinted maintenance in the Scripture, so 
the apostle, in his solemn farewel to the pastors and elders 
of the church of Ephesus, guards them against it, Acts 
XX. 33, 34, 35. But if the thing had been either lawful 
or practised, he would rather have exhorted them to be 
content with their stinted hire, and not to covet more ; 
whereas, he sheweth them, first, by his own example, that 
they were not to covet or expect any man's silver or gold ; 
secondly, that they ought to work with their hands for an 
honest livelihood, as he had done ; and lastly, he exhorts 
them so to do from the words of Christ, because it is a 
more blessed thing to give than to receive ; shewing that 
it is so far from a thincr that a true minister ouffht to aim 
at, or expect, that it is rather a burden to a true minister, 
to be reduced to the necessity of wanting it. 

§. XXX. Fourthly, If a forced and stinted maintenance 
were to be supposed, it would make the ministers of Christ 
just one with those hirelings whom the prophets cried out 


Next, That a superfluous maintenance, that is, more 
than in reason is needful, ought not to be received by 
Christian ministers, will not need much proof, seeing the 
more moderate, both among Papists and Protestants, readily 
confess it, who with one voice exclaim against the exces- 
sive revenues of the clergy; and that it may not w^ant a 
proof from Scripture, what can be more plain than that 
of the apostle to Timothy? 1 Tim. vi. 7, 8, 9, 10. where 
he both shews wherewith we ought to be content, and also 
the hazard of such as look after more; and indeed, since 
that very obligation of giving maintenance to ministers is 
founded upon their need, and such as have opportunity 
to work are commended rather in not receiving than in 
receiving, it can no ways be supposed lawful for them 
to receive more than is sufficient. And indeed, were 
they truly pious, though necessitovis, they would rather 
incline to take too Httle, than be coveting too much. 

§. XXXI. Now that there is great excess and abuse 
hereof among Christians, the vast revenues which the 
bishops and priests have, both Papists and Protestants, 
do declare; since I judge it may be said without any ex- 
aggeration, that some particular persons have more paid 
them yearly, than Christ and his apostles made use of in 
their whole life-time. 

But it is usually objected, That Christians are become 
so hard-hearted, and generally so little heed spiritual 
things, that if ministers had not a settled and stinted main- 
tenance secured to them by law, they and their families 
might starve for want of bread. 

I answer, This objection might have some w^eight as to 
a carnal ministry, made up of natural men, w^ho have no 
Ufe, power, nor vh-tue with them, and so may insinuate 
the need of such a maintenance for such a ministry; but 
it saith nothing as to such as are called and sent of God, 


wlio sends no man a wayfaring upon his own charges; and 
so go forth in the power of God, to turn people from 
darkness to hght; for such can trust to him that sendeth 
them, and do beheve that he will provide for them, know- 
ing that he requu-eth nothing of any but what he giveth 
them power to perform; and so when they return, can say 
they wanted nothing. And such also when they stay in a 
place, being immediately furnished by God, and not need- 
ing to borrow what they preach from books, and take up 
their time that way, foil a working at their lawful employ- 
ments, and labour with their hands, as Paul did when he 
gathered the church at Corinth. 

But thou wilt say, I have laboured and preached to 
them, and they are hard-hearted still, and will not give me 
any thing : 

Then surely thou hast either not been sent to them of 
God, and so thy ministry hath not been among them in 
the power, virtue, and hfe of Christ ; and so thou deservest 
nothing; or else they have rejected thy testimony^ and so 
are not worthy, and from such thou oughtest not to ex- 
pect, nor yet receive, any thing, if they would give thee, 
but thou oughtest to shake off the dust from thy feet, and 
leave them. And how frivolous this objection is, appears, 
in that in the darkest and most superstitious times, the 
priests' revenues mcreased most, and they were most richly 
rewarded, though they deserved least. So that he that is 
truly sent of God, as he needs not, so neither will he be 
afraid of want, so long as he serves so good a master; 
neither will he ever forbear to do his work for that cause. 

§. XXXII. But lastly. As to the abuses of this kind of 
maintenance, indeed he that would go through them all, 
though he did it passingly, might make of it alone a huge 
volume. For this abuse, as others, crept in with the apos- 
tasy, there being nothing of this in the primitive times: 


then the ministers claimed no tithes, neither sought they 
a forced maintenance ; but such, as wanted had their neces- 
sity supplied by the church, and others wrought with their 
hands. It is also to be regretted how soon this mischief 
crept in among Protestants, who had scarce well appeared 
when the clergy among them began to speak at the old 
rate, and shew that though they had forsaken the bishop 
of Rome, they were not resolved to part with their old 
benefices; and therefore so soon as any princes or states 
shook off tlie Pope's authority, and so demolished the ab- 
beys, nunneries, and other monuments of superstition, the 
reformed clergy began presently to cry out to the magis- 
trates to beware of meddling with the church's patrimony, 
severely exclaiming against making a lawful use of those 
vast revenues that had been superstitiously bestowed upon 
the church, so called, to the good and benefit of the com- 
monwealth, as no less than sacrilege. 

The only way then soundly to reform all these abuses^ 
and take away the occasion of them, is, to take away all 
stinted and forced maintenance and stipend ; and seeing 
those things were anciently given by the people, that they 
return again into the public treasure, and thereby the 
people may be greatly benefited by them, for that they 
may supply for these public taxations and impositions, that 
are put upon them, and may ease themselves of them. 
And whoever appoint teachers to themselves, let them 
accordingly entertain them: and for such as are called and 
moved to the ministry by the Spirit of God, those that re- 
ceive them, and taste of the good of their ministry, will 
no doubt provide things needful for them, and there will 
be no need of a law to force a hire for them: for he 
that sends them will take care for them; and they also, 
having food and raiment, will therewith be content* 



Concerning Worship. 

All true and acceptable worship to God is offered in the in- 
ward and immediate moving and drawing of his own 
Spirit, which is neither Umited to places, times, nor per- 
sons. For though w6 are to worship him ahvays, and 
continually to fear before him ; yet as to the outward 
signification thereof, in prayers, praises, or preachings, 
we ought not to do it in our own will, where and 
when we will ; but where and when we are moved there- 
unto by the stirring and secret inspirations of the Spirit 
of God in our hearts; which God heareth and ac- 
copteth of, and, is never wanting to move us thereunto, 
when need is ; of which he himself is the alone proper 
judge. All other worship then, both praises, prayers, 
or preachings, which man sets about in his own will, 
and at his own appointment, which he can both begin 
and end at his pleasure, do or leave undone as himself 
seeth meet, whether they be a prescribed form, as a 
liturgy, &c. or prayers conceived extempore by the 
natural strength and faculty of the mind, they are all but 
superstition and will-worship, which are now to be de- 
nied and rejected, and separated from, in this day of 
his spiritual arising : however it might have pleased 
him (who winked at the times of ignorance, with a re- 
spect to the shnplicity and integrity of some, and of his 
own innocent seed, which lay as it were buried in the 
hearts of men under that mass of superstition) to blow 
upon the dead and dry bones, and to raise some breath- 


ings of his own, and answer them; and that until the 
day should more clearly dawn and break forth. 

§. I. The duty of man towards God lieth chiefly in these 
two generals. 1. In an holy conformity to the pure law 
and light of God, so as both to forsake the evil, and be 
found in the practice of the perpetual and moral precepts 
of righteousness and equity. And 2. In rendering that 
reverence, honour, and adoration to God, that he requires 
©f us ; which is comprehended under worship. Of the 
former we have already spoken, as also of the different 
relations of Christians, as they are distinguished by the 
several measures of grace received, and given to every 
one ; and in that respect have their several offices in the 
body of Christ, which is the church. Now I come to 
speak of worship, or of those acts, whether private or 
public, general or particular, whereby man renders to 
God that part of his duty which relates immediately to 
him : and as obedience is better than sacrifice, so neither 
is any sacrifice acceptable, but that which is done accord- 
ing to the will of him to whom it is offered. But men, 
finding it easier to sacrifice in their own wills, than obey 
God's will, have heaped up sacrifices without obedience ; 
and thinking to deceive God, as they do one another, give 
him a shew of reverence, while they are both inwardly 
estranged from his holy and righteous life, and wholly 
strangers to the pure breathings of his Spirit, in which 
only the acceptable worship is offered up. Hence it is, 
that there is not any thing relating to man's duty towards 
God, which among all sorts of people hath been more 
vitiated: and as among many others, so among those called 
Christians, nothing hath been more out of order, and more 
corrupted. As I freely approve whatsoever the Protestants 



have refoniied from Papists in tliis respect; so it concerns 
the former narrowly to consider, whether herein they have 
made a clear and perfect reformation; as to which stands 
the controversy betwixt them and us. For we find 
many of the branches lopped off by them, but the root yet 
remaining : to wit, a worship acted in and from man's will 
and spirit, and not by and from the Spirit of God: for the 
true Christian and spiritual worship of God had been so 
early lost, and man's w isdora and will hath so quickly and 
thoroughly mixed itself herein, that both the apostasy in 
this respect hath been greatest, and the reformation here- 
from, as to the evil root, most difficult. Therefore let not 
the reader suddenly stumble at our proposition in this 
matter, but patiently hear us explain ourselves, and I hope 
(by the assistance of God) to make it appear, that though 
our manner of speaking and doctrine seem most singular 
and different from all other sorts of Christians ; yet it is 
most according to the pure Christian religion, and indeed 
most needful to be observed and followed. 

§. II. First, let it be considered, that what is here af- 
firmed, is spoken of the worship of God in these gospel- 
times, and not of the worship that was under or before the 
law : for the particular commands of God to men then, 
are not sufficient to authorize us now to do the same 
things ; else we might be supposed at present acceptably 
to offer sacrifice as they did, which all acknowledge to be 
ceased. So that what might have been both commend- 
able and acceptable under the law, may justly now be 
charged with superstition and idolatry. And though a 
spiritual worship might have been, and no doubt was 
practised by many under the law in great simphcity; yet 
will it not follow, that it were no superstition to use all 
those ceremonies, which were by God dispensed to the 
Jews, not as being essential to true worship, or necessary 


as of themselves for transmitting and entertaining a holy 
fellowship betwixt him and his people; but in conde- 
scension to them, who were inclinable to idolatry. 

§. III. Secondly; Albeit I say, that this worship is nei- 
ther limited to times, places, nor persons; yet I would not 
be understood, as if I intended the putting away of all 
set times and places to worship. We are none of those 
that forsake the assembling of ourselves together; but 
have certain times and places, in which we carefully meet 
together to wait upon God, and worship him. To meet 
together we think necessary for the people of God; be- 
cause, so long as we are clothed with this outward taber- 
nacle, there is a necessity to the entertaining of a joint and 
visible fellowship, and bearing of an outward testimony 
for God, and seeing of the faces one of another, that we 
concur with our persons as well as spirits: to be accom- 
panied with that inward love and unity of spirit, doth 
greatly tend to encourage and refresh the saints. 

But the limitation we condemn is, that whereas the 
Spirit of God should be the immediate persuader and in- 
fluencer of man in the particular acts of worship, when 
the saints are met together, this Spirit is limited in its 
operations, by setting up a particular man or men to 
preach or pray in man's will; and all the rest are excluded 
from so much as believing that they are to wait for God's 
Spirit to move them in such things : and so they neglect- 
ing that in themselves which should quicken them, and 
not waiting to feel the pure breathings of God's Spirit, so 
as to obey them, are led merely to depend upon the 
preacher, and hear what he will say. 

Secondly; In that these peculiar men come not thither 
to meet with the Lord, and to wait for the inward mo- 
tions and operations of his Spirit; and so to pray as they 
feel the Spirit to breathe through them, and in them; and 


to i)reac!i, as they find themselves actuated by God's 
Spirit, and as he gives utterance, so as to speak a word in 
season to refresh weary souls, and as the present condition 
and state of the people's hearts require. It appears then, 
that we are not iigainst set times for worship; only these 
times being appointed for outward conveniency, we may 
not think with the Papists, that these days are holy, and 
lead people into a superstitious observation of them; being 
j>ersuaded that all days are alike holy hi the sight of 

§. IV. Not seeing any ground in Scripture for it, we 
cannot be so superstitious as to believe, that either the 
Jewish sabbath now continues, or that the first day of the 
week is the anti-type thereof, or the true Christian sab- 
bath ; which we believe to have a more spiritual sense : 
and therefore we know no moral obligation by the fourth 
command, or elsewhere, to keep the first day of the week 
more than any other, or any holiness inherent in it. But 
first, for as much as it is necessary that there be some 
time set apart for the saints to meet together to wait upon 
God ; and that secondly, it is fit at some times they be 
freed from their other outward afl^airs ; and that thirdly, 
reason and equity doth allow that servants and beasts have 
some time allowed them to be easetl from their continual 
labour; and that fourthly, it appears that the apostles and 
primitive Christians did use the first day of the week for 
these purposes ; we find ourselves sufficiently moved fojr 
these causes to do so also, without superstitiously strain- 
ing the Scriptures for another reason; yet doth not that 
hinder us from having meetings also for worship at other 

§. V. Thirdly; Though according to the knowledge of 
God, revealed unto us by the Spirit, through that more 
full dispensation of light which we believe the Lord haj;h 


brought about in this day, we judge it our duty to hold 
forth that pure and spiritual worship which is acceptable 
to God, and answerable to the testimony of Christ and 
his apostles, and likewise to testify against and deny not 
only manifest superstition but also formal will-worship, 
which stands not in the power of God; yet, I say, we do 
not deny the whole worship of all those that have borne the 
name of Christians even in the apostasy, as if God had 
never heard their prayers, nor accepted any of them: 
God forbid we should be so void of charity! 

§. VI. Fourthly; To come then to the state of the con- 
troversy, as to the public worship, we judge it the duty of 
all to be dihgent in the assembling of themselves together, 
(and what we have been, and are, in this matter, our ene- 
mies, who have used all means to hinder our assembling 
together to worship God, may bear witness,) and when 
assembled, the great work of one and all ought to be to 
wait upon God; and excluding their own thoughts and 
imaginations, to feel the Lord's presence, and know a 
gathering into his name indeed, where he is in the midst, 
according to his promise. And as every one is thus ga- 
thered, and so met together inwardly in their spirits, as 
well as outwardly in their persons, there the secret power 
and virtue of life is known to refresh the soul, and the 
pure motions and breathings of God's Spirit are felt to 
arise; from which, as words of declaration, prayers, or 
praises arise, the acceptable worship is known, which 
edifies the church, and is well-pleasing to God. And 
though there be not a word spoken, yet is the true 
spiritual worship performed, and the body of Christ edi- 

§, VII. As there can be nothing more opposite to the 
natural will and wisdom of man than this silent waiting 
upon God, so neither can it be obtained, nor rightly com'- 


piehended by man, but as lie layeth clown his own wis- 
dom and will, so as to be content to be thoroughly subject 
to God. And therefore it hath not been attained to, nor 
can be so practised, but by such as find no outward cere- 
mony, no observations, no words, not the best and purest 
words, even the words of Scripture, able to satisfy their 
weary and afflicted souls : because where all these may be, 
the life, power, and virtue, which make such things effec- 
tual, may be wanting. Such, I say, were necessitated to 
cease from all externals, and to be silent before the Lord ; 
*and being directed to that inward principle of life and 
light in themselves, as the most excellent teacher, which 
can never be removed into a corner, came thereby to be 
taught to wait upon God in the measure of life and grace 
received from him, and to cease from their own forward 
words and actings, and feel after this inward seed of life, 
that, as it raoveth, they may be actuated by its power, and 
influenced, whether to pray, preach, or sing. And so 
from this principle of man's being silent, and not acting 
in the things of God of himself, until thus actuated by 
God's light and grace in the heart, did naturally spring 
that manner of sitting silent and waiting together upon 
the Lord. For many thus principled, meeting together 
in the pure fear of the Lord, did not apply themselves 
forthwith to speak, pray, or sing, &c. being afraid to be 
found acting forwardly in their own wills, but each made 
it their work to retire inwardly to the measure of grace 
in themselves, not being only silent as to words, but 
even abstaining from all their own imaginations and de- 
sires ; so watching in an holy dependence upon the Lord, 
and meeting together not only outwardly in one place, but 
thus inwardly in one spirit, and in one name of Jesus, 
which is his power and virtue, they come thereby to enjoy 
and feel the arisings of this life, which, as it prevails iij 


each individual, becomes as a flood of refreshment, ant] 
overspreads the whole meeting. And when any are, 
through the breaking forth of this power, constrained to 
utter a sentence of exhortation or praise, or to breathe to 
the Lord in prayer, then all are sensible of it; for the 
same Hfe in them answers to it, as in water face answeretli 
to face. This is that divine and spiritual worship, which 
the world neither knoweth nor understandeth; and the 
form of this worship is so void of all outward splendour, 
that all occasion for man's wisdom to be exercised hath no 
lodging here; and so there being also an inward quietness 
and retiredness of mind, the witness of God ariseth in the 
heart, and the light of Christ shineth, whereby the soul 
Cometh to see its own condition. Not a few have come to 
be convinced of the truth after this manner, of which \ 
myself, in part, am a true witness, who not by strength of 
arguments, or by a particular disquisition of each doctrine, 
and convincement of my understanding thereby, came to 
receive and bear witness of the truth, but by being secret- 
ly reached by this life ; for when I came into the silent 
assemblies of God's people, I felt a secret power among 
them, which touched my heart, and as I gave way unto 
it, I found the evil weakening in me, and the good raised 
up, and so I became thus united unto them, hungering 
more and more after the increase of this power and life, 
■yvhereby I might feel myself perfectly redeemed. After 
this manner we desire therefore all that come among us to 
be proselyted, knowing that though thousands should be 
convinced in their understanding of all the truths we main- 
tain, yet if they were not sensible of this inward life, and 
their souls not changed from unrighteousness to righte- 
ousness, they could add nothing to us. For this is thaf 
cement whereby we are joined, as to the Lord so one to 
^nother, and without this none can worship with us. If 


sucli should come among us, and from that understanding 
and conviiicemcnt they have of the truth, speak ever so 
true things, and utter them with ever so much excellency 
of speech, if this Ufe were wanting, it would not edify us 
at all, but be as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal, 
1 Cor. xiii. 1. 

§. VIII. And as every one is thus stated, he comes to 
find the good arise over the evil, and the pure over the 
impure, in which God reveals himself, and draweth near 
to every individual, and so he is in the midst in the genei- 
ral, whereby each not only partakes of the particular re- 
freshment and strength, which comes from the good in 
himself, but is a sharer in the whole body, as being a 
living member of the body, having a joint fellowship and 
communion with all. 

§. IX. Many are the blessed experiences which I could 
relate of this silence and manner of worship ; yet I do not 
so much commend and speak of silence as if we had bound 
ourselves by any law to exclude praying or preaching: not 
at all : for as our worship consisteth not in words, so nei- 
ther in silence, as silence ; but in an holy dependance of 
the mind upon God : from which dependance silence ne- 
cessarily follows in the first place, until words can be 
brought forth, which are from God's Spirit. For when 
many are met together in this one life and name, it 
doth most naturally and frequently excite them to pray to 
and praise God, and stir up one another by mutual ex- 
hortation; yet we judge it needful that there be in the 
first place some time of silence, during which every one 
may be gathered inward to the word and gift of grace, 
from which he that ministereth may receive strength to 
bring forth what he ministereth ; and that they that hear 
may have a sense to discern betwixt the precious and 
the vile. And we doubt not, but assuredly know, that 


the meeting may be good and refreshing, though from the 
sitting down to the rising up thereof there hath not been a 
word outwardly spoken, and yet hfe may have been known 
to abound in each particular, and an inward growing up 
therein and thereby, so as words might have been spoken 
acceptably, and from the Hfe : yet there being no absolute 
necessity laid upon any so to do, all might have chosen ra- 
ther quietly and silently to enjoy the Lord in themselves, 
which is very sweet and comfortable to the soul that hath 
thus learned to be gathered out of all its own thoughts, to 
feel the Lord to bring forth both the will and the deed, 
which many can declare by a blessed experience : though 
indeed it cannot but be hard for the natural man to re- 
ceive or believe this doctrine, and therefore it must be 
rather by a sensible experience, and by coming to make 
proof of it, than by arguments, that such can be convinced 
of this thing, seeing it is not enough to believe it, if they 
come not also to enjoy it ; yet for the sake of such as may 
be the more willing to apply themselves to the practice and 
experience hereof, if they found their understandings con- 
vinced of it, and that it is founded upon Scripture and 
reason, I find a freedom of mind to add some few consi- 
derations of this kind, for the confirmation hereof, besides 
what is before mentioned of our experience. 

§. X. That to wait upon God, and to watch before 
him, is a duty incumbent upon all, I suppose none will 
deny; and that this also is a part of worship will not be 
called in question, since there is scarce any other so fre- 
quently commanded in the Holy Scriptures, as may appear 
from Psalm xxvii. 14. and xxxvii. 7, 34. Prov. xx. 22. Isai. 
XXX. 18. Hosea xii. 6. Zech, iii. 8. Mat. xxiv. 42. and xxv. 
13. and xxvi. 41. Mark xiii. 33, 35, 37. Luke xxi. 36. Acts 
i. 4. and XX. 31. 1 Cor. xvi. 13. Col. iv. 2. 1 Thess. v. 6. 
2 Tim. iv, 5, 1 Pet. iv, 7. Also this duty is often rccom- 


mended with very great and precious promises, as Psalm 
XXV. 3. and xxxvii. 9. and Ixix. 6. Isai. xl. 23. Lam. iii. 
25, 26. " They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their 
strength," &c. Isai. xl. 3L Now how is this waiting upon 
God, or watching before him, but by this silence of which 
we have spoken ? which as it is in itself a great and prin- 
cipal duty, so it necessarily in order both of nature and 
time precedeth all other. But that it may be the better 
and more perfectly understood, as it is not only an outward 
silence of the body, but an inward silence* of the mind 
from all its own imaginations, let it be considered accord- 
ing to truth, and to the principles and doctrines heretofore 
affirmed and proved, that man is to be considered in a two- 
fold respect, to wit, in his natural, unregenerate, and fallen 
state, and in his spiritual and renewed condition; from 
whence ariseth that distinction of the natural and spiritual 
man so much used by the apostle. 

Wherefore the time appointed of God being come, 
wherein by Jesus Christ he hath been pleased to restore 
the true spiritual worship, and the outward form of wor- 
ship, which was appointed by God to the Jews, and where- 
of the manner and time of its performance was particularly 
determined by God himself, being come to an end, we find 
that Jesus Christ, the author of the Christian religion, pre- 
scribes no set form of worship to his children, under the 
more pure administration of the new covenant, save that 
he only tells them, That the worship now to be performed 
is spiritual, and in the Spirit. And it is especially to be 
observed, that in the whole New Testament there is no 
command given in this thing, but to follow the revelation 
of the Spirit, save only that general one of meeting toge- 
ther ; a thing diligently practised by us. True it is, men-. 

■ More properly abstraction. 


tion is made of the duties of praying, preaching, and sing- 
ing; but what order or method should be kept in so doing, 
or that forthwith they should be set about so soon as the 
saints are gathered, there is not one word to be found : these 
duties are always annexed to the assistance and motions of 
God's Spirit. Since then man in his natural state is thus 
excluded from acting or moving in things spiritual, how 
or what way shall he exercise this first and previous duty 
of waiting upon God but by silence, and by bringing the 
natural part to silence ? Since then we are commanded to 
wait upon God diligently, and in so doing it is promised 
that our strength shall be renewed, this waiting cannot be 
performed without silence or cessation of the natural part 
on our side, since God manifests himself not to the outward 
man or senses, but to the inward, to wit, to the soul and 

§. XIII. The excellency of this worship doth appear in 
th^t it can neither be stopped nor interrupted by the malice 
of men or devils, as all others can. Now interruptions of 
worship may be understood in a two-fold respect, either as 
we are hindered from meeting, being outwardly by violence 
separated one from another; or when permitted to meet 
together, we are interrupted by the noise and confusion 
which such as are mahcious may use to molest or distract 
us. Now in both these respects, this worship doth greatly 
surpass all others: for how f^r soever people be separate 
or hindered from coming together, yet as every one is in- 
wardly gathered to the measure of life in himself, there is 
a secret unity and fellowship enjoyed, which the devil and 
all his instruments can never break or hinder. But, se- 
condly. It doth well appear in those molestations which 
occur, when we are met together, what advantage thi^ 
true and spiritual worsliip gives us beyond all others; see- 
ing in det^pite of a thousand interruptions and abuses, on§ 


of which were sufficient to have stopped the worship of 
others, we have heen able, through the nature of this wor- 
ship, to keep it uninterrupted as to God, and also at the 
same time to shew forth an example of our Christian 
patience towards all, even oftentimes to the convincing of 
our opponents. 

§. XV. Next, as for a reason of this worship, we need 
not give any other, and indeed none can give a better 
than that which Christ giveth, which I think should be 
sufficient to satisfy every Christian, to Avit, *' God is a 
Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in 
spirit and in truth." As this ought to be received be- 
cause it is the words of Christ, so also it is founded upon 
so clear a demonstration of reason, as sufficiently evinceth 
its verity. 

Christ excellently argues from the analogy that ought to 
be betwixt the object, and the worship directed thereunto: 

God is a Spirit ; 

Therefore, he must be worshipped in Spirit. 

This is so certain, that it is incontrovertible ; and this 
analogy is so necessary to be minded, that under the law, 
when God instituted that ceremonial worship to the Jews, 
because that worship was outward, that there might be an 
analogy, he saw it necessary to condescend to them as in a 
special manner, to dwell betwixt the Cherubim within the 
tabernacle, and afterwards to make the temple of Jerusa- 
lem in a sort his habitation, and cause something of an 
outward glory and majesty to appear, by causing fire from 
heaven to consume the sacrifices, and filling the temple 
with a cloud : by which mediums, visible to the outward 
eye, he manifested himself proportionally to that outward 
worship which he had commanded them to perform. So 
now under the new covenant, he seeing meet in his heaven- 
ly wisdom to lead his children in a path more heavenly and 


spiritual, and in a way more easy and familiar, and also 
purposing to disappoint carnal and outward observations, 
that his children may have an eye more to an inward glory 
and kingdom than to an outward, he hath given us for an 
example hereof the appearance of his beloved Son, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who hath delivered his own, and doth 
deliver them, by suffering, and dying by the hands of his 
enemies ; thereby triumphing over the devil, and his and 
our inward enemies, and delivering us therefrom. He hath 
also instituted an inward and spuitual worship. So that 
God now limiteth not his people to the temple of Jerusa- 
lem, nor yet unto outward ceremonies and observations ; 
but taketh the heart of every Christian for a temple to 
dwell in, and there immediately appeareth and giveth him 
directions how to serve him in any outward acts. And be- 
fore God is worshipped in the inward temple of the heart, 
it must be purged of its own filth, and all its own imagina- 
tions, that so it may be fit to receive the Spirit of God, and 
to be actuated by it. And doth not this directly lead us 
to that inward silence of which we have spoken and exact- 
ly pointed out ? This worship must be in truth ; intimat- 
ing that this spiritual worship, thus performed, is only and 
properly a true worship : as being that which cannot be 
counterfeited by the enemy, nor yet performed by the 
hypocrite. But against this worship they object. 

§. XVII. First, It seems to be an unprofitable exercise 
for a man to be doing or thinking nothing; and that one 
might be much better employed, either in meditating upon 
some good subject, or otherwise praying to or praising 

I answer ; That is not unprofitable, which is of absolute 
necessity before any other duty can be acceptably per- 
formed, as we have shewn this waiting to be. Moreover, 
those have but a gross apprehension of God, and of the 


tilings of Iiis kingdom, who imagine that men please him 
by their own actings ; whereas, the first step for a man to 
fear God, is to cease from his own thoughts and imagina- 
tions, and suffer God's Spirit to work in him. For we must 
cease to do evil ere we learn to do well; and this meddling 
in things spiritual by man's own natural understanding, is 
one of the most dangerous evils that man is incident to ; 
being that which occasioned our first parents' fall, to wit, 
a forwardness to desire to know and do things, both with- 
out and contrary to the Lord's command. 

Secondly; Some object. If your worship merely con- 
sist in inwardly retiring to the Lord, and feeling his 
Spirit arise in you, and then to do outward acts as ye are 
led by it, what need ye have public meetings at set times 
and places, since every one may enjoy this at home ? Or 
should not every one stay at home, until they be particu- 
larly moved to go to such a place at such a time; since to 
meet at set times and places seems to be an outward ob- 
servation and ceremony, contrary to what ye at other times 
assert ? 

I answer ; First, To meet at set times and places is not 
any rehgious act, or part of worship in itself; but only an 
outward conveniency: and therefore our meeting at set 
times and places is not a part of our worship, but a pre- 
paratory accommodation of our outward man, m order to 
a public visible worship; since we set not about the visible 
acts of worship when we meet together, until we be led 
thereunto by the Spirit of God. Secondly, God hath seen 
meet, so long as his children are in this world, to make use 
of the outward senses, not only as a means to convey 
spiritual Hfe, as by speaking, praying, praising, &c. which 
cannot be done to mutual edification, but when we hear 
and see one another; but also to maintain an outward, 
visible testimony for his name in the world : he causeth 

\9^ pitdPosiTioN xr. 

the inward life (which is also many times not conveyed hf 
the outward senses) the more to abound, when his chil- 
dren assemble themselves dihgently together to wait upon 
him; so that as iron sharpeneth iron, the seeing of the 
faces one of another, when both are inwardly gathered 
unto the life, giveth occasion for the life secretly to rise, 
and pass from vessel to vessel. And therefore Christ hath 
particularly promised a blessing to such as assemble toge- 
ther in his name, saying he will be in the midst of them, 
Mat. xviii. 20. And the author to the Hebrews doth pre- 
cisely prohibit the neglect of this duty, Heb. x. 24. " And 
let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to 
good works ; not forsaking the assembling ourselves toge- 
ther, as the manner of some is." And therefore the Lord 
hath shewn that he hath a particular respect to such as 
thus assemble themselves together, because that thereby 
a public testimony for him is upheld in the earth, and his 
name is thereby glorified ; and therefore such as are right 
in their spirits, are naturally drawn, to keep the meetings of 
God's people, and never want a spiritual influence to lead 
them thereunto: and if any do it in a mere customary way, 
they will no doubt suffer condemnation for it. '.■ 

Lastly, Some object. That this manner of worship in 
silence is not to be found in all the Scripture: ' ;. : . 

I answer ; We make not silence to be the sole matter of 
our worship; since there are many meetings, which are 
seldom altogether silent; some or other < are frequently 
moved either to preach, pray, or praise : and so our meet- 
ings are like the meetings of the primitive churches, since 
our opponents confess that they did preach and pray; by 
the Spirit. And then what absurdity is it to suppose, that 
at some time the Spirit did not move them to these out- 
ward acts, and that then they were silent ? Since we may 
well conclude they did not speak until they were moved ; 


and so no doubt had sometimes silence. Acts ii, 1. before 
the Spirit came upon them, it is said, " They were all ^ith 
one accord in one place ;" and then it is said, " The Spirjt 
suddenly came upon them ;" but no mention is made of 
any one speaking at that tipie; and I would willingly 
know what absurdity our Qppoi]en^s pan ijifer, should \\'p 
conclude they were awhile silent ? 

But if it be urged. That a whole silent pieetip^ cannqt 
be found in Scripture ; 

I answer ; Supposing such a thing were not recorded, it 
will not therefore follow that it is not lawful ; since it natu- 
rally followeth from other Scripture precepts, as we have 
proved this doth. For seeing the Scripture commands to 
meet together, and when met, thp Scripture prohibits 
prayers or preachings, but as the Spirit n^oveth thereunto ; 
if people meet together, and thp Spirit move not to sucji 
acts, it will necessarily follow that they must be silent. 
Thus having shewn the excellency of this worship, proving 
it from Scripture and reason, and answering the objections 
which are commonly made against it, which, though it may 
suffice to the explanation and proof of our proposition, yet 
I shall add something more particularly of preaching, pray- 
ing, and singing. 

§. XVIII. Christ, in sending forth his disciples, express- 
ly mentioneth that they are not to speak of or jfrom them- 
selves, or to forecast beforehand, but that which thp 
Spirit in the same hour shall teach them, as is particij- 
larly mentioned in the three evangelists. Mat. x. 20. Mark 
xiii. 11. Luke xii. 12. Now if Christ gjivg this order to his 
disciples before he departed from them, as that which they 
were tp practise during his abode outM^ardly ^yith them, 
jnuch more were they to do it after his departure, since 
Jhen they were more especially to receive the Spirit, fp 



lead them in all things, and to bring all things to their re- 
membrance, John xiv. 26. And if they were to do so 
when they appeared before the magistrates and princes of 
the earth, much more in the worship of God, when they 
stand specially before him, seeing his worship is to be per- 
foraied in spirit ; and therefore after then* receiving of the 
Holy Ghost, it is said, Acts ii. 4. "They spake as the 
Spirit gave them utterance ;" not what they had gathered 
from books in their closets in a premeditated way. 

§. XXI. Our opponents, as they can preach, so can 
they pray, when they please, and therefore have their set 
particular prayers, all agreeing in this. That the motions 
and influence of the Spirit of God are not necessary to be 
previous thereunto ; and therefore they have set times in 
their public worship, as before and after preaching, and in 
their private devotion, as morning and evening, and before 
and after meat, and other such occasions, at which they 
precisely set about the perfonning of their prayers, by 
speaking words to God, whether they feel any motion or 
influence of the Spirit or not. We freely confess that 
prayer is both very profitable, and a necessary duty com- 
manded, and fit to be practised frequently by all Christians ; 
but as we can do nothing without Christ, so neither can we 
pray without the assistance of his Spirit. But that the 
state of the controversy may be better understood, let it be 
considered, first, that prayer is two-fold, inward and out- 
ward. Inward prayer is that secret turning of the mind 
towards God, whereby, being secretly touched and awaken- 
ed by the light of Christ in the conscience, and so bowed 
down under the sense of its iniquities, unworthiness, and 
misery, it looks up to God, and, joining with the secret 
sighings of the seed of God, it breathes towards him, and 
is constantly breathing forth some secret desires and aspi- 
rations towards him. It is in this sense that we arc so 


frequently in Scripture commanded to pray continually, 
Luke xviii. 1. 1 Thess. v. 17. Eph. vi. 18. Luke xxi. 36. 
which cannot be understood of outward prayer, because it 
were impossible that men should be always upon their 
knees, expressing words of prayer; and this would hinder 
them from the exercise of those duties no less positively 
commanded. Outward prayer is, when the spirit, being 
thus in the exercise of inward retirement, and feeling the 
breathing of the Spirit of God to arise powerfully in the 
soul, receives strength and liberty, by a superadded influ- 
ence of the Spirit, to bring forth either audible sighs, 
groans, or words, and that either in public assembUes, or 
in private, or at meat, &c. 

As then inward prayer is necessary at all times, so no 
man, whilst the day of his visitation lasteth, wants some in- 
fluence, less or more, for the practice of it ; because he no 
sooner retires in his mind, and considers himself in God's 
presence, but he finds himself in the practice of it. 

The outward exercise of prayer, as needing a greater 
and superadded influence of the Spirit, as it cannot be con- 
tinually practised, so neither can it be so readily, so as to 
be effectually performed, until his mind be some time ac- 
quainted with the inward ; therefore such as are watchful 
in their minds, and much retired in the exercise of this 
inward prayer, are more capable to be frequent in the use 
of the outward. But because this outward prayer depends 
upon the inward, as that which must follow it, and cannot 
be acceptably performed but as attended with a super- 
added influence of the Spirit, therefore cannot we fix set 
times to pray outwardly, so as to lay a necessity to speak 
words at such and such times, whether we feel this heaven- 
ly influence and assistance or not ; for that we judge were 
a tempting of God, and a coming before him without due 
preparation. We think it fit for us to present ourselves 

o 'A 


before hira by this inward retirement of the mind, and so 
to proceed further, as his Spirit shall help us and draw us 
thereunto ; and we find that the Lord accepts of this, and 
seeth meet sometimes to exercise us in this silent place for 
the trial of our patience, without allowing us to speak fur- 
ther, that he may teach us not ta rely upon outward per- 
formances, or satisfy ourselves, as too many do, with the say- 
ing of our prayers; and that our dependaace upon him may 
be the more firm and constant, to wait for the holding out 
of his sceptre, and for his allowance to draw near unto 
him, with greater freedom and enlargement of spirit upon 
our hearts towards him. Nevertheless we do not deny 
but God sometimes very suddenly, yea, upon the very first 
turning in of the mind, may give power and liberty to bring 
forth words or acts of outward prayer, so as the soul can 
scarce discern any previous motion, but the bringing forth 
thereof may be as it were all at once. Though we affirm 
that none ought to go about prayer without this motion, 
yet we do not deny but such sin as neglect prayer ; but 
their sin is in that they come not to that place where they 
may feel that which would lead them thereunto. And 
therefore we question not but many, through neglect of 
this inward watchfulness and retiredness of mind, miss 
many precious opportunities to pray, and thereby are 
guilty in the sight of God ; yet would they sin if they 
should s^t about the act until they first felt the influence. 

§.. XXn« That there is a necessity of this inward retire- 
ment of the mind previous to prayer, that the Spirit may 
be felt to draw thereunto, appears, for that in most of 
those places where prayer is commanded, watching is 
prefixed thereunto, as Mat. xxiv. 42. Mark xiii. 33. and 
xiv. 38. Luke xxi, 36. from which it is evident that this 
watching was to go before prayer. Now to what end is 
this watching, or whj^t is it, but a waiting to feel God's 

6F WORSHII*^. 1^^ 

Spitit to dfaW unto prayer, that so it may be done ac- 
ceptably? For since we are to pray always in the Spirit^ 
and cannot pray of ourselves without it acceptably, this 
watching must be for this end recommended to ms, as 
preceding prayer, that we may watch and wait for the 
seasonable time to pray, which is when the Spirit moves 

Secondly, This necessity of the Spirit's movihg Appears 
abundantly from that of the apostle Paul, Rom, viii. 26, 
27. " Likewise the Spurit also helpeth our infirmities : for 
we know not what we should pray for as we ought ; but 
the Spu'it itself maketh intercession for us with groanings 
which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the 
hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because 
he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will 
of God." Which first holds forth the incapacity of men 
of themselves to pray or call upon God in their own wills, 
even such as have received the faith of Christ, and are in 
measure sanctified by it, as was the church of Rome, to 
which the apostle then wrote. Secondly, It holds forth 
that which can only help men to pray, to wit, the Spirit, as 
that without which they cannot do it acceptably to God, 
nor beneficially to their own souls. Thirdly, the manner 
and way of the Spirit's intercession, with sighs and groans 
which are unutterable. And Fourthly, That God re- 
ceiveth graciously the prayers of such as are presented 
unto himself by the Spirit, knoAving it to be according to 
his will. Now it cannot be conceived but this order of 
prayer thus asserted by the apostle is most consistent with 
those other testimonies of Scripture, recommending to us 
the use of prayer. From which I thus argue. 

If any man know not how to pray, neither can do it 
without the help of the Spirit, then it is to no purpose foar 
him, but altogether unprofitable, to pray without it. 


Thii'dly, This necessity of the Spirit to true prayer, ap- 
pears from. Eph. vi. 18. and Jude 20. where the apostle 
commands to pray always in the Spirit, and watching 
thereunto ; which is as much as if he had said^ that we 
were never to pray without the Spirit, or watching tliere- 
unto. And Jude sheweth that such prayers as are in the 
Holy Ghost only, tend to the building up of ourselves in 
our most holy faith. 

Fourthly, The apostle Paul saith expressly, 1 Cor. xii. 3. 
That " no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the 
Holy Ghost :" if then Jesus cannot be thus rightly named 
but by the Holy Ghost, far less can he be acceptably 
called upon. Hence the same apostle declares, 1 Cor. 
xiv. 15. that he " will pray with the Spirit." A clear evi^ 
dence that it was not his method to pray without it. 

§. XXIV. I shall now proceed to answer their objeo* 
tions, when I have said something concerning joining in' 
prayer with others. Those that pray together with on© 
accord, use not only to concur in their spirits, but also in 
the gesture of their body, which we also willingly approve 
of; for it becometh men who approach before God to 
pray, that they do it with bowed knees, and with their 
heads uncovered, which is our practice. 

But here ariseth a controversy. Whether it be lawful t^ 
join with others by those external signs of reverence, albeit 
not in heart, who pray formally, not waiting for the motion 
of the Spirit, nor judging it necessary. > 

We answer, Not at all ; and for our testimony in this 
thing, we have suffered not a little. Since our principle 
and doctrine oblige us to believe that the prayers of those 
who themselves confess they are not actuated by the 
Spirit are abominations, how can we with a safe conscience 
join with them? 

If they urge, That this is the height of uncharitableness 

or WORSHIP, 199 

and ai'rogancy, as if we judged Ouisplves aUvays td pr^y 
by the Spirit's motion, but they never; as if we were never 
deceived by praying without the motions of the Spu'it, and 
that tliey were never actuated by it, seeing albeit they 
judge not the motion of the Spiiit always necessary,, they, 
confess nevertheless that it is very profitable and comfort- 
able, and they feel it often influencing theiii ; wliich that it 
sometimes falls out we cannot deny ; .!; 

To all which I answer distinctly, If it were their knowii 
and avowed doctrine not to pray without the motion of the 
Spirit, and that, seriously holding thereunto, they did not 
bind themselves to pray at certam pi'escribed times pre- 
cisely, at which times they determined to pray, though, 
without the Spirit, then indeed we might be accused of 
uncharitablencss and pride, if we never joined wdth them; 
and if they so taught and practised, I doUbt not but it 
would be lawful for us so to do, unless there should appear 
some manifest hypocrisy and delusion. That God some« 
times condescends to them, we do not deny; although 
now, when the spiritual worship is openly proclaimed, and 
all are invited unto it, the case is othei'wise than in those 
old times of apostasy and darkness; and therefore, albeit 
any should begin to pray in our presence, not expecting 
the motion of the Spirit; yet if it manifestly appear that 
God in condescension did concur with such a one, then ac- 
cording to God's will we should not|refuse to join also. 

But now I hast^il to the objections of our opponents 

against this method of praying. 

. §. XXV. First; They object, That if such particular 
infliiences were needful to outward acts of worship, then 
they should also be needful to inward acts, to wit, desii"« 
and love to God. But this ik absurd ; Therefore also that 
from whence it follows. 

I answer ; As to those general duties, there never wants 


Ati Influence, so long as the day of a man's visitation lastelh; 
during which time God is ahvays near to him, and wres- 
tling with him by his Spirit, to turn him to himself; so that 
if he do but Stand still, and cease from his evil thoughts, 
the Lord is near to help him, &c. But as to the outward 
acts of prayer, they need a more special influence* 

Secondly; They object, That it might be also allegedi 
that men ought not to do moral duties, as children to 
honour their parents, men to do right to their neighbours, 
except the Spirit move them to it. 

I answer; There is a great difference betwixt these 
general duties betwixt man and man, and the particular 
express acts of worship towards God : the one is merely 
spiritual, and commanded by God to be perfbrmied by his 
Spirit ; the other answer their end, as to them whom they 
are immediately diriected to and concern, though done from 
a mere natural principle of self-love ; even as beasts have 
natural affectiohs one to another, and therefore may be 
thus performed* Thoiigh I shall not deny, but that they 
are not works accepted of God, or beneficial to the soul, 
but as they are done in the fear of God, and in his bless- 
ing, in which his children do all things^ and therefore are 
accepted and blessed in whatsoever they do. 

Thirdly ; They object. That if a wicked man ought not 
to pray without a motion of the Spirit, because his prayer 
would be sinful; neither ought he to plough by the same 
reason, because the ploughing of the wicked, as well as his 
praying, is sin. 

This objection is of the same nature with the farmer, 
and therefore may be answered the same way; seeing 
there is a great difference betwixt natural acts, such as 
eating, drinking, sleeping, and seeking sustenance for the 
body (which things man hath common with beasts) and 
spiritual acts. And it doth not follow, because man ought 


hot to go about spiritual acts without the Spirit, that there- 
fore he may not go about natural acts without it. The 
analogy holds better thus, and that for the proof of our 
affirmation, That as man for the going about natural adts 
needs his natural spirit; so to perform spiritual acts he 
needs the Spirit of God. 

Fourthly; They object, That wicked men may, accord- 
ing to this doctrine, forbear to pray for years together, 
alleging, they want a motion to it. 

I answer; The false pretences of wicked men do nothing 
invahdate the truth of this doctrine; for at that rate there 
is no doctrine of Christ, which men might not set aside. 
That they ought not to pray without the Spirit, is grant- 
ed; but then they ought to come to that place of watch- 
ing, where thay may be capable to feel the Spirit's motion. 
They sin indeed in not praying; but the cause of this sin 
is their not watching: so their neglect proceeds not from 
this doctrine, but from their disobedience to it ; seeing if 
they did pray without this, it would be a double sin, and 
no fulfilling of the command to pray: nor yet would their 
prayer, without the Spirit, be useful unto them. And this 
our opponents are forced to acknowledge in another case : 
for they say. It is a duty incumbent on Christians to fre- 
quent the sacrament of the Lord's supper j as they call it; 
yet they say, No man ought to take it unworthily: yea, 
they j^ad, that such as find themselves unprepared, must 
abstain; and therefore do usually exclude them from the 
table. Now, though according to them it be necessary 
to partake of this sacrament; yet it is also necessary that 
those that do it, do first examine themselves, lest they eat 
and drink their own condemnation: and though they 
reckon it sinfiil for them to forbear, yet they account it 
more sinful for them to do it without this examination. 
Fifthly ; They object, Acts viii. 22, where Peter com- 


manded Simon Magus, that wicked sorceF^r, to pray; fvom 
thence inferring. That wicked men may and ought to 

I answer; That in the citing of this place they omit the 
first and chiefest part of the verse, which is thus, Acts viii. 
ver. 22. " Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and 
pfay God, if perhaps the thought of thine licart may be 
forgiven thee:" so here he bids him first repent. Now 
the least measure of true repentance cannot be without 
somewhat of that inward retirement of the mind which we 
speak of: and indeed where true repentance goeth fii-st, 
we do not doubt but the Spirit of God will be near to 
concur with, and influence such to pray. 

:§. XXVI. As to the singing of psalms, there will not be 
need of any long discourse ; for that the case is .just the 
same as in the two former of preaching and prayer. We 
confess this to be a part of God's worship, and very sweet 
and refreshing, when it proceeds from a true sense of 
God's love in the heart, and arises from the divine influ- 
ence of the Spirit, which leads souls to breathe forth 
either a sweet harmony, or words suitable to the present 
condition; whether they be words formerly used by the 
saints, and recorded in scripture, such as the Psalms of 
David, or other words ; as were the hymns and songs of 
Zacharias, Simeon, and the blessed Vu-gin Mary. But as 
for the formal customary way of singing, it hath no foun- 
dation in Scripture, nor any ground in true Christianity. 

That singing then that pleaseth him must proceed from 
that which is PURE in the heart, (even from the Word of 
Life therein,) in and by which, richly dwelling in us, 
spiritual songs and hymns are returned to the Lord, ac- 
cording to that of the apostle, Col. iii. 16. 

But as to their artificial music, cither by organs, or 


Other instruments, we have neither example nor precept 
for it in the New Testament *. 


Concerning Baptism. 

As there is one Lord, and one faith, so there is one bap- 
tism; which is not the putting away the filth of the 
flesh, but the answer of a good conscience before God, 
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And this baptism 
is a pure and spiritual thing, to wit, the baptism of the 
Spirit and Fire, by which we are buried with him, that 
being washed and purged from our sins, we may walk 
in newness of life : of which the baptism of John was a 
figure, which was commanded for a time, and not to con- 
tinue for ever. As to the baptism of infants, it is a mere 
human tradition, for which neither precept nor practice 
is to be found in all the Scripture, 

§. I. I DID sufficiently demonstrate, in the explanation 
and proof of the former proposition, how greatly the pro- 
fessors of Christianity, as well Protestants as Papists, were 

♦ All the pomp and parade, all the activity, bustle, and sound, so 
generally prevalent in ancient times, and not a little so in our own times, 
in the celebration of divine worship, genuine Christianity has reduced 
to the secret, simple, mental contemplation, and thankful adoration of 
the Great Benefactor of the human race, the inexhaustible source of 
goodness and love, through the mediation of the appointed Saviour. 



degenerated in the matter of worship, and how muth 
strangers to that true and acceptable worship that is per- 
formed in spirit and in truth. 

§. II. That which comes first under observation, is the 
name sacrament, which it is strange that Christians should 
stick to and contend so much for, since it is not to be 
found in all the Scripture. 

But if it h6 said. That it is not the name, but the thing 
they (iohtend for ; 

I answer; Let the name therr, as not being Scriptural^ 
be laid aside, and we shall see how much benefit will re- 
dound by laying aside this traditional term, and betaking 
us to plainness of Scripture-language. 

If it be said. That this controversy arises from the 
definition of the thing, as well as from the name ; 

It will be found otherwise : for whatever way we take 
their definition of a sacrament, whether as an outward 
visible sign, whereby inWard grace is conferred, or only 
signified, this definition will agree to many things, which 
neither Papists nor PfotestantS will acknowledge to be 
sacraments. If they be expressed Under the name of seal- 
ing ordinances, as by some they are, I could never see, 
either by reason or Scripture, how this title could be ap- 
propriate to them, more than to any other Christian, re- 
ligious performance: for that must needs properly be a 
Sealing ordinance, which makes the persons receiving it 
infallibly certain of the promise or thing sealed to theni. 

If it be sard, It is so to them that are faithful ; 

I answer; So is praying and preaching, and doing of 
every good work; and what peculiarly then belongs to 
these sacraments, seeing the partaking or performing of 
them gives not to any one a more certain title to heaven » 
and, in some respect, not so much. 

Besides, wc find not any thing called the seal and pledge 


of our inheritance, but the Spirit of God. It is by that 
we are said to be sealed, Eph. i. 14. and iv. 30. which is 
also termed the earnest of our inheritance, 2 Cor. i. 22. 
and not by outward water, or eating and drinking; which 
as the wickedest of men may partake of, so many that do, 
do go to perdition. For it is not outward washing with 
water that maketh the heart clean, by which men are fitted 
for heaven: and as that which goeth into the mouth doth 
not defile a man, because it is put forth again, and so 
goeth to the dunghill; neither doth any thing which man 
eateth purify him, or fit him for heaven. Of these sacra- 
ments (so called) baptism is always first numbered, in the 
explanation of which I shall first demonstrate our judg- 
ment, and then answer the objections, and refute the sen- 
timents of our opposers. 

§. III. First, There is but one baptism, as well as but 
one Lord, one faith, &c. 

Secondly, That this one baptism, which is the baptism of 
Christ, is not a washing with, or dipping in water, but a 
being baptized by the Spirit. 

Thirdly, That the baptism of John was but a figure of 
this ; and therefore, as the figure, to give place to the 
substance ; which though it be to continue, yet the other 

As for the first, viz. That there is but one baptism, 
there needs no other proof than the words of the text, 
]Eph. iv. 5. " One Lord, one faith, one baptism :" where 
the apostle positively and plainly affirms, that as there is 
but one body, one Spirit, one faith, one God, &c. so there 
is but one baptism. 

As to what is commonly alleged by way of explanation 
upon the text. That the baptism of water and of the Spirit 
make up this one baptism, by virtue of the sacramental 


I answer; This expositioh hath taken place, not because 
grounded upon the testimony of the Scripture, but be- 
cause it wrests the Scripture to make it suit to their 
principle of water-baptism. 

But secondly, if it be said. The baptism is but one, 
whereof water is the one part, to wit, the sign; and the 
Spirit, the thing signified, the other; 
; I answer; This yet more confirmeth our doctrine: fot 
if water be only the sign, it is not the matter of the one 
baptism; and we are to take the one baptism for the mat- 
ter of it, not for the sign, or figure and type that went be- 
fore. If any should be so absurd as to affirm, That this 
one baptism here was the baptism of water, and not of 
the Spirit ; that were foolishly to contradict the positive 
testimony of the Scripture, which saith the contrary. 

Secondly, That this one baptism, which is the baptism 
of Christ, is not a washing with water, appears firsts 
from the testimony of John, the peculiar administrator of 
water-baptism, Mat. iii. 11. "I indeed baptize you with 
water unto repentance ; but he that cometh after me is 
mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear ; he 
shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." 
Here John mentions two manners of baptizing, and two 
different baptisms ; the one with water, and the other with 
the Spirit; the one whereof he was the minister; the other 
whereof Christ was the minister: and such as were bap- 
tized with the first, were not therefore baptized with the 
second : I indeed baptize you, but he shall baptize you. 
From all which I thus argue: 

If those that were baptized with the baptism of water, 
were not therefore baptized with the baptism of Christ ; 
then the baptism of water is not the baptism of Christ. 

And again. 

If he, that truly and really administered the baptism of 


water, did notwithstanding declare, that he neither could, 
nor did, baptize with the baptism of Christ; then the bap- 
tism of water is not the baptism of Christ. /.ruY.X . 
If it be urged, That baptism with water was the orte 
part, and that with the Spirit the other part, or effect only 
of the former; 

I answer ; This exposition contradicts the plain words 
of the text. For he saith not, I baptize you with water, 
and he that cometh after, me shall produce the effects of 
this my baptism in you by the Spirit, &c. or he shall ac- 
compHsh this baptism in you ; but, He shall baptize you. 
So then, if we understand the words properly, when he 
saith, " I baptize you," as consenting that thereby is really 
signified that he did baptize with the baptism of water; 
Ave must needs, unless we offer violence to the text, under- 
stand the other part of the sentence the same way ; viz. 
where he adds presently, " But he shall baptize you," &c. 
that he understood it of their being tridy to be baptized 
with another baptism, than what he did baptize with. 

Secondly, This is further confirmed by the saying of 
Christ himself. Acts i. 4, 5. " But wait for the promise of 
the Father, which," saith he, " ye have heard of me : for 
John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized 
with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." There can 
scarce two places of Scripture run more parallel than this 
doth with the former. For Christ here grants fully that 
John completed his baptism, as to the matter and sub- 
stance of it: John, saith he, truly baptized with water; 
which is as much as if he had said, John did truly and 
fully administer the baptism of water; But ye shall be 
baptized with, Sec. This sheweth that they were to be 
baptized with some other baptism than the baptism of 
water; and that although they were formerly baptized 


with the baptism of water, yet not with that of Chrigt, 
which they were to be baptized with. 

Thirdly, Peter observes the same distinction, Acts xi. 
16. " Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how 
that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye 
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost." The apostle 
makes this application upon the Holy Ghost's falling upon 
them; whence he infers, that they were then baptized 
with the baptism of the Spirit. From all which three 
sentences, relative one to another, first of John, secondly 
of Christ, and thirdly of Peter, it doth evidently follow, 
that such as were really baptized with the baptism of 
water, were notwithstanding not baptized with the bap- 
tism of the Spirit, which is that of Christ; and such as 
really did administer the baptism of water, did, in so do- 
ing, not administer the baptism of Christ. So that if there 
be now but one baptism, as we have already proved, we 
may safely conclude that it is that of the Spirit, and not 
of water ; else it would follow, that the one baptism, which 
now continues, were the baptism of water, i. e. John's 
baptism, and not the baptism of the Spirit, i. e. Christ's ; 
which were most absurd. 

If it be said further. That though the baptism of John, 
before Christ's was administered, was different from it, as 
being the figure only ; yet now, that both it as the figure, 
and that of the Spirit as the substance, is necessary to 
make up the one baptism; 

I answer; This urgeth nothing, unless it be granted 
also that both of them belong to the essence of baptism ; 
so that baptism is not to be accounted as truly administer- 
ed, where both are not; which none of our opponents will 
acknowledge. The controversy stands betwixt us and 
our opposers, in thii.t they oftentimes prefer the fonn and 
shadow to the power and substance; by denominating 


persons as possessors of the thing, from their having 
the form and shadow, though really wanting the power 
and substance; and not admitting those to be so denomi- 
nated, who have the power and substance, if they want 
the form and shadow. This appears evidently, in that 
they account those truly baptized with the one baptism of 
Christ, who are not baptized with the Spirit (which in 
Scripture is particularly called the baptism of Christ) if 
they be only baptized with water, which themselves yet 
confess to be but the shadow. And moreover, in that 
they account not those who are surely baptized with the 
baptism of the Spirit baptized, neither will they have them 
so denominated, unless they be also sprinkled with, or dip- 
ped in water. 

§. IV. Fourthly, That the one baptism of Christ is not 
a washing with water, appears from 1 Pet. iii. 21. " The 
like figure * M'hereunto, even baptism, doth also now save 
us: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the 
answer of a good conscience towards God, by the resur- 
rection of Jesus Christ." Scarcely so plain a definition of 
baptism is found in all the Bible; and therefore, it may 
well be preferred to all the definitions of the schoolmen. 
The apostle tells us first negatively what it is not, viz. 
Not a putting away of the filth of the flesh : then surely 
it is not a washing with water, since that is so. Secondly, 
he tells us affirmatively what it is, viz. The answer of a 
good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of 
Jesus Christ; where he affirmatively defines it to be the 
answer (or confession, as the Syriac version hath it) of a 
good conscience. Now this answer cannot be but where 
the Spirit of God hath purified the soul, and the tire of 
his judgments hath burned up the unrighteous nature; 

• Or, Whose rnodd baptism Joes also tww taz^e us. 


and those in whom this work is wrought may be truly said 
to be baptized with the baptism of Christ, i. e. of the 
Spirit and of fire. Whatever way then we talce this defi- 
nition of the apostle concerning Christ's baptism, it con- 
firmeth our sentence : for if we take the first or negative 
part, viz. That it is not a putting away of the filth of the 
flesh, then it will follow that water-baptism is not it, be- 
cause that is a putting away of the filth of the flesh. If 
we take the second and affirmative definition, to wit. That 
it is the answer or confession of a good conscience, &c. 
then water-baptism is not it; since, as our opponents will 
not deny, water-baptism doth not 'always imply it, neither 
is it any necessary consequence thereof. Moreover, the 
apostle in this place doth seem especially to guard against 
those that might esteem water-baptism the true baptism 
of Christ ; because (lest by the comparison induced by 
him in the preceding verse, betwixt the souls that were 
saved in Noah's ark, and us that are now saved by bap- 
tism; lest, I say, any should have thence hastily concluded, 
that because the former were saved by water, this place 
must needs be taken to speak of water-baptism) to prevent 
such a mistake, he plainly affirms, that it is not that, but 
another thing. He saith not that it is the water, or the 
putting away of the filth of the flesh, as accompanied with 
the answer of a good conscience, whereof the one, viz. 
water, is the sacramental element, administered by the 
minister ; and the other, the grace or thing signified, con- 
ferred by Christ; but plainly, That it is not the puttmg 
away, &c. than which there can be nothing more manifest 
to men unprejudiced and judicious. Moreover Peter 
calls this which saves the anti-type *, or the thing figured ; 
whereas it is usually translated, as if the like figure did 



now save us; thereby insinuating that as they were saved 
by water in the ark, so arc we now by water-baptism. But 
this interpretation perverteth his sense, he presently after 
declaring the contrary, as hath above been obser\'ed; and 
likewise it would contradict the opinion of all our op- 
posers. For Protestants deny it to be absolutely neces- 
sary to salvation ; and though Papists say, none are saved 
without it, yet in this they admit an exception, as of mar- 
tyrs, &c. and they will not say that all that have it are 
saved by water-baptism; which they ought to say, if they 
will understand by baptism (by which the apostle saith we 
are saved) water-baptism. For seeing we are saved by 
this baptism, as all those that were in the ark v/cre saved 
by water, it would then follow, that all those that have this 
baptism are saved by it. Now this consequence would be 
false, if it were understood of water-baptism; because 
many, by the confession of all, are baptized with water 
that are not saved ; but this conseqvience holds most true, 
if it be understood, as we do, of the baptism of the Spirit; 
since none can have this answer of a good conscience, and, 
abiding in it, not be saved by it. 

Fifthly, That the one baptism of Christ is not a washing 
with water, as it hath been proved by the definition of the 
one baptism, so it is also manifest from the necessary 
effects of it, which are three times particularly expressed 
by the apostle Paul; as first, Rom. vi. 3, 4. where he saith, 
" That so many of them as were baptized into Jesus 
Christ, were baptized into his death, buried with him by 
baptism into death, that they should walk in newness of 
life." Secondly, to the Galatians, iii. 27. he saith posi- 
tively, " For as many of you as have been baptized into 
Christ have put on Christ." And thirdly, to tlie Colos- 
sians, ii. 1;^ he saith. That they were buried with him in 
baptism, and risen with him through the faith of the ope- 

p 2 


ration of God. It is to be observed here, that the apostle 
speaks generally, without any exclusive term, but compre- 
hensive of all. He saith not, some of you that vs^ere bap- 
tized into Christ have put on Christ, but as many of you ; 
which is as much as if he had said. Every one of you that 
hath been baptized into Christ, hath put on Christ. 
Whereby it is evident that this is not meant of water- 
baptism, but of the baptism of the Spirit ; because else it 
would follow, that whosoever had been baptized with 
water-baptism had put on Christ, and were risen with him, 
which all acknowledge to be most absurd. From all which 
I thus argue: 

If the baptism with water were the one baptism, i. e. 
the baptism of Christ, as many as were baptized with 
water would have put on Christ: 

But as many as are baptized into Christ, i. e. with the 
one baptism, which is the baptism of Christ, have put on 
Christ, therefore water-baptism is not the one baptism, 
viz. the baptism of Christ. 

§. V. Thirdly, Since John's baptism was a figure, and 
seeing the figure gives way to the substance, although the 
thing figured remain, to wit, the one baptism of Christ, 
yet the other ceaseth, which was the baptism of John. 

That John's baptism was a figure of Christ's baptism, 
I judge will not readily be denied ; but in case it should, 
it can easily be proved from the nature of it. John's bap- 
tism was a being baptized with water, but Christ's is a 
being baptized with the Spirit; but if water-baptism be 
the figure of the baptism of the Spirit, then John's baptism 
was the figure of Christ's. But further, that water-bap- 
tism was John's baptism, will not be denied : that water- 
baptism is not Christ's baptism, is already proved. 
From which doth arise the confirmation of our proposition 
thus : 


There is no baptism to continue now, but the one bap- 
tism of Christ. 

Therefore water-baptism is not to continue now, be- 
cause it is not the one baptism of Christ. 

That John's baptism is ceased, many of our opponents 
confess ; biit if any should allege it is otherwise, it may 
be easily proved by the express words of John, not only 
as being insinuated there, where he contradistinguishetli 
his baptism from that of Christ, but particularly where he 
saith, John iii. 30. " He [Christ] must increase, but I 
[John] must decrease." From whence it clearly follows, 
that the increasing or taking place of Christ's baptism is 
the decreasing or abolishing of John's baptism: so that if 
water-baptism was a particular part of John's ministry, 
and is no part of Christ's baptism, as we have already 
proved, it will necessarily follow that it is not to continue. 

If water-baptism hud been to continue a perpetual ordi- 
nance of Christ in his church, he would either have prac- 
tised it himself, or commanded his apostles so to do. 

But that he practised it not, the Scripture plainly 
affirms, John, iv. 2. And that he commanded his disci- 
ples to baptize with water, I could never yet read. As 
for what is alleged, that, Mat. xxviii. 19, &c. where he bids 
them baptize, is to be understood of water-baptism, that 
is but to beg the question, and the grounds for that shall 
be hereafter examined. 

Therefore to baptize with water is no perpetual ordi- 
nance of Christ to his church. 

This hath had the more weight with me, because I find 
not any standing ordinance or appointment of Christ neces- 
sary to Christians, for which we have not either Christ's 
own practice or command ; as to obey all the command- 
ments, which comprehend both our duty towards God 
and man, Sec, and where the gospel requires more than the 

214 ruoposiTioN xir. 

law, whicli is abundantly signified in the 5th and 6tli chap- 
ters of Matthew, and elsewhere. Besides, as to the duties 
of worship, he exhorts us to meet, promising his presence ; 
commands to pray, preach, watch, &c. and gives precepts 
concerning some temporary things, as the washing of one 
another's feet, the breaking of bread; only for this one 
thing of baptizing with water, though so earnestly con- 
tended for, we find not any precept of Christ. 

§. VI. But to make water-baptism a necessary institu- 
tion of the Christian religion, Avhich is pure and spiritual, 
and not carnal and ceremonial, is to derogate from the 
new covenant dispensation, and set up the legal rites and 
ceremonies, of which this of baptism, or washing with 
water, was one, as appears from Heb. ix. 10. where the 
apostle speaking thereof saith, that it stood only in meats 
and drinks, and divers baptisms, and carnal ordinances, 
imposed until the time of reformation. If then the time 
of reformation, or the dispensation of the gospel, which 
puts an end to the shadows, be come, then such baptisms 
and carnal ordinances are no more to be imposed. For 
how baptism with water comes now to be a spiritual ordi- 
nance, more than before in the time of the law, doth not 
appear, seeing it is but water still, and a washing of the 
outward man, and a putting away of the filth of the flesh 
still: and, as before, those that were so washed, were not 
thereby made perfect, as pertaining to the conscience, 
neither are they at this day, as our opponents must needs 
acknowledge, and experience abundantly sheweth. So 
that the matter of it, which is a washing with water, and 
the effect of it, which is only an outward cleansing, being 
still the same, how comes water-ba})tism to be less a car- 
nal ordinance now than before? 

If it be said. That Cod coijAis inward grace upon some 
that arc now b;ipti/,cd; 


So no doubt he did also upon some that used those bap- 
tisms among the Jews. 

Or, if it be said, Because it is commanded by Christ, 
now, under the new covenant ; 

I answer; First, That is to beg the question. 

But Secondly, We find that where the matter of ordi- 
nances is the same, and the end the same, they are never 
accounted more or less spiritual, because of their different 
times. Now was not God the author of the piuifications 
and baptisms under the law ? Was not water the matter 
of them, which is so now ? Was not the end of them to 
signify an inward purifying by an outward washing? And 
is not that alleged to be the end still? And are the neces- 
sary effects of it any better now than before, since men 
are now by the virtue of water-baptism, as a necessaiy 
consequence of it, no more than before made inwardly 
clean? And if some by God's grace that are baptized 
with water are inwardly purified, so were some also under 
the law; so that this is not any necessary consequence, 
neither of this nor that baptism. It is then plainly re- 
pugnant to right reason, as well as to the Scripture testi- 
mony, to affirm that to be a spiritual ordinance now, which 
was a carnal ordinance before, if it be still the same, both 
as to its author, matter, and end, however made to vary 
in some small circumstances. The spirituality of the new 
covenant, and of its worship estabHshed by Christ, con- 
sisted not in such superficial alterations of circumstances. 
Therefore let our opponents shew us, if they can, without 
begging the question, and building upon some one or 
other of their own principles denied by us, where Christ 
ever appointed any institution or observation under the 
new covenant, as belonging to the nature of it, or such a 
necessary part of its worship, as is perpetually to con- 
tinue ; which being one in substance and effects (I speak 

i^lG ruui'osiTiON xii. 

of necessary, not caccidental effects) yet, because of some 
small difference in form or circumstance, was before car- 
nal, notwithstanding it was commanded by God under the 
law, but nov/ is become spiritual, because commanded by 
Christ under the gospel? And if they cannot do this, then if 
water-baptism was once a carnal ordinance, as the apostle 
positively affirms it to have been, it remains a carnal ordi- 
nance still; and if a carnal ordinance, then no necessary part 
of the gospel or new covenant dispensation ; and if no neces- 
sary part of it, then not needful to continue, nor to be 
practised by such as live under this dispensation. 

§. VII. But again. If water-baptism had been an ordi- 
nance of the gospel, then the apostle Paul would have 
been sent to administer it; but he declares positively, 
1 Cor. i. 17. " That Christ sent him not to baptize, but to 
preach the gospel." The reason of that consequence 
is undeniable, because the apostle Paul's commission was 
as large as that of any of them : and he being in special 
manner the apostle of Christ to the Gentiles, if water-bap- 
tism, as our opponents contend, be to be accounted the 
badge of Christianity, he had more need than any of the 
rest to be sent to baptize with water, that he might mark 
the Gentiles converted by him with that Christian sign. 
But indeed the reason holds better thus, that since Paul 
was the apostle of the Gentiles, and that in his ministry 
he doth through all (as by his epistles appears) labour to 
withdraw them from the Jewish ceremonies and observa- 
tions (though in so doing he was sometimes undeservedly 
judged by others of his brethren, who were unwilling to 
lay aside those ceremonies) therefore his commission, 
though as full, as to the preaching of the gospel and new 
covenant dispensation, as that of the other apostles, did 
not require of him that he shoidd lead those converts into 
such Jewisii observations and baptisms, however that 


pnictice was indulged in and practised by tlic other apos- 
tles among their Jewish proselytes, for which cause he 
thanks God that he had baptized so few : intimating that 
what he did therein he did not by virtue of his a})ostoIic 
commission, but rather in condescension to their weakness, 
even as at another time he circumcised Timothy. 

Our opponents, to evade the truth of this testimony, 
usually allege. That by this is only to be understood, that 
he was not sent principally to baptize, not that he was not 
sent at all. 

But this exposition, since it contradicts the positive 
words of the text, and has no better foundation than the 
affirmation of its asserters, is justly rejected as spurious, 
until they bring some better proof for it. He saith not, 
I was not sent principally to baptize, but I was not sent 
to baptize. 

If it be said. That the abuse of this baptism among the 
Corinthians, in dividing themselves according to the per- 
sons by whom they were baptized, made the apostle speak 
so ; but that the abuse of a thing doth not abolish it ; 

I answer, it is true, it doth not, provided the tliin'»- be 
lawful and necessary, and that no doubt the abuse above- 
said gave the apostle occasion so to write. But let it from 
this be considered how the apostle excludes baptizing, not 
preaching, though the abuse [mark] proceeded from that, 
no less than from the other. For these Corinthians did 
denominate themselves from those different persons by 
whose preaching (as well as from those by whom they 
were baptized) they were converted, as by the 4th, 5th, 
Gth, 7th, and 8th verses of chap. iii. may appear : and yet 
to remove that abuse the apostle doth not say he was not 
sent to preach, nor yet doth he rejoice that he had only 
preached to a few ; because preaching, being a standing 
ordinance hi the church, is not, because of any abuse that 
the devil ni;i}' Icmpt any to make of it, to be forborne by 

218 riioposiTioN xii. 

such as are called to perform it by the Spirit of God : 
wherefore the apostle accordingly, chap. iii. 8, 9. informs 
them, as to that, how to remove that abuse. But as to 
water-baptism, for that it was no standing ordinance of 
Christ, but only practised in condescension to the Jews, 
and by some apostles to some Gentiles also, therefore, so 
soon as the apostle perceived the abuse of it, he let the 
Corinthians understand how little stress was to be laid 
upon it, by shewing them that he was glad that he had 
administered this ceremony to so few of them ; and by 
telling them plainly that it was no part of his commission, 
neither that which he was sent to administer. 

Some ask us, How we know that baptizing here is meant 
of water, and not of the Spirit ; which if it be, then it will 
exclude the baptism of the Spirit, as well as of water. 

I answer. Such as ask the question, I suppose, speak it 
not as doubting that this was said of water-baptism, which 
is more than manifest. For since the apostle Paul's mes- 
sage was, to turn people from darkness to light, and con- 
vert them to God ; and that as many as are thus turned 
and converted (so as to have the answer of a good con- 
science toward God, and to have put on Christ, and be 
risen with him in nev/ness of life) are baptized with the 
baptism of the Spirit, but who will say that only those few 
mentioned there to be baptized by Paul were come to 
this ? or that to turn or bring them to this condition was 
not, even admitting our opponents' interpretation, as prin- 
cipal a part of Paul's ministry as any other? since then 
our opponents do take this place for water-baptism, as in- 
deed it is, we may lawfully, taking it so also, urge it upon 

^. VIII. First, Some object, That Christ, who had the 
Spirit above measure, was notwithstanding baptized with 

or r.ArTis.Ai, 2\D 

I answer, So was he also circuinciscd ; it will not follow 
from thence that circmucision is to continue : for it behoved 
Christ to fulfil all righteousness, not only the ministry of 
John, but the law also, therefore did he observe the Jewish 
feasts and rites, and keep the passover. It will not thence 
follow that Christians ought to do so now; and therefore 
Christ, Mat. iii. 15. gives John this reason of his being 
baptized, desiring him to " suffer it to be so now ;" where- 
by he sLifhciently intimates that he intended not thereby to 
perpetuate it as an ordinance to his disciples. 

Secondly, They object, Mat. xxviii. 19. " Go ye there- 
fore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." 

This is the great objection, and upon which they build 
the whole superstructure ; whereunto the first general and 
sound answer is, by granting the whole ; but putting them 
to prove that water is here meant, since the text is silent 
about it. And though in reason it be sufficient upon our 
part that we concede the whole expressed in the place, but 
deny that it is by water, which is an addition to the text, 
yet I shall premise some reasons why we do so, and then 
consider the reasons alleged by those that will have water 
to be here understood. 

The first is a maxim yielded to by all. That we ought 
not to go from the literal signification of the text, except 
some urgent necessity force us thereunto. 

Secondl)', That baptism which Christ commanded his 
apostles was the one baptism, id est, his own baptism. 

Thirdly, That baptism which Christ commanded his 
apostles was such, that as many as were therewith baptized 
did put on Christ. 

Fourthly, The baptism commanded by Christ to his 
apostles was not John's baptism. 

But First, They allege, That Christ's baptism, though a 


baptism with water, did differ from John s, because John 
only baptized with water unto repentance, but Christ com- 
mands his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost ; reckoning that in this form there 
Heth a great difference betwixt the baptism of John and 
that of Christ. 

I answer, In that John's baptism was unto repentance, 
the difference heth not there, because so is Christ's also; 
our opponents will not deny but that adult persons that 
are to be baptized ought, ere they are admitted to water- 
baptism, to repent, and confess their sins : and that infants 
also, with a respect to, and consideration of their baptism, 
ought to repent and confess ; so that the difference lieth 
not here, since this of repentance and confession agrees as 
well to Christ's as to John's baptism. 

Secondly, As to what Christ saith, in commanding them 
to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, 1 
confess that states the difference, and it is great ; but that 
it lies only in administering water-baptism in this different 
form, by a bare expressing of these words, as the text says 
no such thing, so neither do I see how it can be inferred 
from it. For the Greek is, i7ifo the name* ; now the name 
of the Lord is often taken in Scripture for something else 
than a bare sound of words, or literal expression, even for 
his virtue and power, as may appear from Psal. liv. o. Cant, 
i. 3. Prov. xviii. 10. and in many more. Now that the 
apostles were by their ministry to baptize the nations into 
this name, virtue, and power, and that they did so, is evi- 
dent by these testimonies of Paul above-mentioned, where 
he saith, That as many of them as were baptized into 
Christ, have put on Christ ; this must have been a bap- 
tizing into the name, i. e. power and virtue, and not a mere 

* to, TO 0\IC(XX, 


formal expression of words connected with water-baptism. 
I would have those who desire to have their faith built 
upon no other foundation than the testimony of God's 
Spirit, and the Scriptures of truth, thoroughly to consider 
whether there can be any thing further alleged for this in- 
terpretation than what the prejudice of education and in- 
fluence of tradition hath imposed. 

Besides the reason taken from the signification of the 
name as being the virtue and power above expressed, let 
it be considered, that if it had been a form prescribed by 
Christ to his apostles, then surely they would have made 
use of that form in the administering of water-baptism to 
such as they baptized with water; but though particular 
mention be made, in divers places of the Acts, who were 
baptized, and how ; and though it be particularly express- 
ed that they baptized such and such, as Acts ii. 41. and 
viii. 12, 13, 38. and ix. 18. and x. 48. and xvi. 15. and 
xviii. 8. yet there is not a word of this form. And in two 
places. Acts viii. 16. and xix. 5. it is said of some that they 
were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus ; by which it 
yet more appears, that either the author of this history 
hath been very defective, who having so often occasion to 
mention this, yet omitteth so substantial a part of baptism 
(which were to accuse the Holy Ghost, by whose guidance 
Luke wrote it) or else that the apostles did no ways under- 
stand that Christ by his commission. Mat. xxviii. did enjoin 
them such a form of water-baptism, seeing they did not use 
it. And therefore it is safer to conclude, that what they 
did in administering water-baptism, they did not by virtue 
of that commission, else they would have so used it; for 
our opponents I suppose would judge it a great heresy to 
administer water-baptism without that, or only in the name 
of Jesus, without mention of Father or Spirit, as it is ex- 
pressly said they did, in the two places above-cited. 


Secondly, They say, If this were not unclerstootl of 
\vater-baptism, it would be a tautology, and all one with 

I say. Nay : Baptizing with the Spirit is somewhat fur- 
ther than teaching, or informing the understanding ; for it 
imports a reaching to, and melting the heart, whereby it is 
turned, as well as the understanding informed. 

Thirdly, They say. Baptism in this place must be under- 
stood with water, because it is the action of the apostles ; 
and so cannot be the baptism of the Spirit, which is the 
work of Christ, and his grace; not of man, &c. 

I answer ; Baptism with the Spirit, though not wrought 
without Christ and his grace, is instrumentally done by 
men fitted of God for that purpose ; and therefore no ab- 
surdity follows, that baptism with the Spirit should be ex- 
pressed as the action of the apostles. For though it be 
Christ by his grace that gives spiritual gifts, yet the 
apostle, Rom. i. 11. speaks of his imparting to them spi- 
ritual gifts; and he tells the Corinthians, that he had 
begotten them through the gospel, 1 Cor. iv. 15. And 
yet to beget people to the faith, is the work of Christ and 
his grace, not of men. To convert the heart, is properly 
the work of Christ; and yet the Scripture oftentimes 
ascribes it to men, as being the instruments: and since 
Paul's commission was. To turn people from darkness to 
light, (though that be not done without Christ co-operating 
by his grace,) so may also baptizing with the Spirit be ex- 
pressed, as performable by man as the instrument, though 
the work of Christ's grace be needful to concur thereunto. 
So that it is no absurdity to say, that the apostles did ad- 
minister the baptism of the Spirit. 

Lastly, They say. That since Christ saith here, that he 
will be with his disciples to the end of the world, therefore 
water-baptism must continue so long. 


If he had been speaking here of water-baptism, then 
that might have been urged ; but seeing that is denied, 
and proved to be false, nothing from thence can be ga- 
thered; he speaking of the baptism of the Spirit, which we 
freely confess doth remain to the end of the world : yea, 
so long as Christ's presence abideth with his children. 

§. IX. Thirdly, They object the constant practice of 
the apostles in the primitive church, who, they say, did 
always administer water-baptism to such as they converted 
to the faith of Christ ; and hence also they further urge 
that of Mat. xxviii. to have been meant of water; or else 
the apostles did not understand it because in baptizing 
they used water ; or that in so doing they walked without a 

I answer; That it was the constant practice of the 
apostles is denied; for we have shewn, in the example of 
Paul, that it was not so ; since it were most absurd to judge 
that he converted only those few, even of the church of 
Corinth, whom he saith he baptized ; nor were it less 
absurd to think that that was a constant apostolic prac- 
tice, which he, who was not inferior to the chiefest of the 
apostles, and who declares that he laboured as much as 
they all, rejoiceth he was so little in. But further; the 
conclusion inferred from the apostles' practice of bap- 
tizing with water, to evince that they understood Mat. 
xxviii. of water-baptism, doth not hold : for though they 
baptized with water, it will not follow that either they 
did it by vktue of that commission, or that they mistook 
that place ; nor can there be any medium brought, that 
will infer such a conclusion. As to the other insinuated 
absurdity, That they did it without a commission ; it is 
none at all: for they may have done it by a permission, as 
being in use before Christ's death ; and because the peoj^le, 
nursed up with outward ceremonies, could not be weaned 

224 PROPOsiTiox xir. 

wholly from tliem. And thus they used other things, as 
circumcision and legal purifications, which yet they had no 
commission from Christ to do. 

But if from the sameness of the word, because Christ 
bids them baptize, and they afterwards in the use of water 
are said to baptize, it be judged probable that they did 
vmderstand that commission, Mat. xxviii. to authorize 
them to baptize with water, and accordingly practised it; 
although it should be granted, that for a season they did 
so far mistake it, as to judge that water belonged to that 
baptism, (which, however, I find no necessity of granting,) 
yet I see not any great absurdity would thence follow. 
For it is plain they did mistake that commission, as to a 
main part of it, for a season ; as where he bids them " Go, 
teach all nations ;" since some time after they judged it un- 
lawful to teach the Gentiles; Peter himself scrupled it, 
until by a vision constrained thereunto; for which, after he 
had done it, he was for a season (until they were better in- 
formed) judged by the rest of his brethren. Now, if the 
education of the apostles as Jews, and their propensity to 
adhere to the Jewish religion, did so far influence them, 
that even after Christ's resurrection, and the pouring forth 
of the Spirit, they could not receive nor admit of the teach- 
ing of the Gentiles, though Christ, in his commission to 
them, commanded them to preach to them ; what further 
absurdity were it to suppose, that, through the like mis- 
take, the chiefest of them having been the disciples of 
John, and his baptism being so much prized there among 
the Jews, they also took Christ's baptism, intended by him 
of the Spirit, to be that of water, which was John's, and 
accordingly practised it for a season? It suffices us, that 
if they were so mistaken, (thougli I say not that they were 
so,) they did not always remain under that mistake: else 
Peter would not have said of the baptism which now saves. 



thai it is not a putting away of the filth of the ficsh, which 
certainly water-baptism is. 

But further, They urge much Peter's baptizing Cor- 
nelius; in wliich they press two things, First, That water- 
baptism is used, even to those that had received the Spirit. 
Secondly, That it is said positively, he commanded them 
to be baptized, Acts x. 47, 48. 

But neither of these doth necessarily infer water-bap- 
tism to belong to the new covenant dispensation, nor yet 
to be a perpetual standing ordinance in the church. For 
fn-st, all that this will amount to, was, that Peter at that 
time baptized these men ; but that he did it by virtue of 
that commission, Mat. xxviii. remains yet to be proved. 
And how doth the baptizing with water, after the receiving 
of the Holy Ghost, prove the case, more than the use of 
circumcision, and other legal rites, acknowledged to have 
been performed by him afterwards ? Also, it is no wonder 
if Peter, who thought it so strange, (notwithstanding all 
that had been professed before, and spoken by Christ,) 
that the Gentiles should be made partakers of the gospel, 
and with great difficulty, not without an extraordinary im- 
pulse thereunto, was brought to come to them, and eat 
with them, was apt to put this ceremony upon them; which 
being, as it were, the particular dispensation of John, the 
forerunner of Christ, seemed to have greater affinity with 
the gospel, than the other Jewish ceremonies then used by 
the church ; but that will no ways infer our opponents' 
conclusion. Secondly, As to these words, " And he com- 
manded them to be baptized ;" it declareth matter of fact, 
not of right, and amounteth to no more, than that Peter 
did at that time command those persons to be baptized 
with water, which is not denied : but it saith nothing that 
Peter commanded water-baptism to be a standing and per- 



petual ordinance to the church ; neither can any man of 
sound reason say, that a command in matter of fact to 
particular persons, doth infer the thing commanded to he 
of general ohligation to all, if it he not otherwise bottomed 
upon some positive precept. Why doth Peter's command- 
ing Cornelius and his household to be baptized at that 
time, infer water-baptism to continue, more than his con- 
straining (which is more than commanding) the Gentiles 
in general to be circumcised, and observe the law? We 
find at that time, when Peter baptized Cornelius, it was 
not yet determined whether the Gentiles should not be 
circumcised ; but on the contrary, it was the most general 
sense of the church that they should: and therefore no 
wonder if they thought it needfvd at that time that they 
should be baptized ; which had more affinity with the gos- 
pel, and was a burden less grievous. 

§. X. Fourthly, They object from the signification of 
■ the word baptize, which is as much as to dip and zaash with 
water ; alleging thence, that the very word imports a being 
baptized with water. 

This objection is very weak. For since baptizing Muth 
water was a rite among the Jews, even before the coming 
of John ; and that the ceremony received that name from 
the nature of the practice, as used both by the Jews and 
by John, yet we find that Christ and his apostles frequently 
make use of these terms to a more spiritual signification. 
Circumcision was only used and understood among the 
Jews to be that of the flesh ; but the apostle tells us of the 
"circumcision of the heart and spirit made Avithout hands." 
So that though baptism was used among the Jews only to 
signify a washing with water, yet both John, Christ, and 
his apostles, speak of being baptized with the Spirit and 
with fire; which they make the peculiar baptism of 
Christ, as contra-distinguished from that of water, which 

OF isArxisNf. 227 

was Jolin's. So that thougli liaptism among tlie Jews was 
only understood of water, yet among Christians it is very 
well understood of the Spirit without water : as we see 
Christ and his apostles spiritually to understand things, 
under the terms of what had been shadows l)(iforc. Thus 
Christ, speaking of his body, (though tlie Jews mistook 
him,) said, " Destroy this temple, and in three days I will 
raise it up." But if the etymology of the word should be 
tenaciously adhered to, it would militate against most of 
our opponents, as well as against us : for the Greek* sig- 
nifies to plunge and dip in ; and that was the proper use of 
water-baptism among the Jews, and also by John, and the 
primitive Christians who used it ; whereas our opponents, 
for the most part, only sprinkle a little water upon the 
forehead, which doth not at all answer to the word haptism. 
Those of old among Christians that used water-baptism, 
thought this dipping or plunging so needful, that they thus 
dipped children : and forasmuch as it was judged that it 
might prove hurtful to some weak constitutions, sprinkling, 
to prevent that hurt, was introduced ; yet then it was like- 
wise appointed, that such as were only sprinkled, and not 
dipped, should not be admitted to have any office in the 
church, as not being sufficiently baptized. So that if our 
opponents will stick to the word, they must alter their me- 
thod of sprinkling. 

Fifthly, They object, John iii. 5. "Except a man be born 
of water, and of the Spirit," &c. hence inferring the neces- 
sity of water-baptism, as well as of the Spirit. 

But if this prove any thing, it will prove water-baptism 
to be of absolute necessity; and therefore Protestants 
rightly affirm, when this is urged upon them by Papists, to 

* BxirriCu, imniergo. 


evince the absolute necessity of water-baptism, that water 
is not here understood of outward water ; but mystically^ 
of an inward cleansing and washing. Even as where 
Christ speaks of being baptized with fire, it is not to be 
understood of outward material fire, but only of purifying, 
because to puiify is a proper effect of fire, as to wash and 
make clean is of water; where it can as httle be so under- 
stood, as where we are said to be " saved by the washing 
of regeneration," Tit. iii. 5. 

Sixthly and lastly ; They object, That the baptism of 
water is a visible sign or badge to distinguish Christians 
from Infidels, even as circumcision did the Jews. 

I answer ; This saith nothing at all, unless it be proved 
to be a necessary precept, or part of the new covenant dis- 
pensation ; it not being lawful for us to impose outward 
ceremonies, and say, they will distinguish us from infidels. 
Circumcision was positively commanded, and said to be a 
" seal of the first covenant ;" but as we have already proved 
that there is no such command for baptism, so there is not 
any word in all the New Testament, calling it a badge of 
Christianity, or seal of the new covenant : and therefore 
to conclude it is so, because circumcision was so, (unless 
some better proof be alleged for it,) is miserably to beg 
the question. 

As for the latter part of the thesis, denying the use of 
infant-baptism, it necessarily follows from what is above 
said. For if water-baptism be ceased, then surely bap- 
tizing of infants is not warrantable. But those that take 
upon them to oppose us in this matter, will have more to 
do as to this latter part : for after they have done what 
they can to prove water-baptism, it remains for them to 
prove that infants ought to be baptized. On the other 
hand, he that proves water-baptism ceased, proves that 


infant-biiptism is vain: but he that should prove that 
\vater-baptisin continues, has not thence proved that infant- 
baptism is necesary *. 


Concerning the Communion, or Participation of 
the Body and Blood of Christ. 

The communion of the body and blood of Christ is inward 
and spiritual, which is the participation of his flesh and 
blood, by which the inward man is daily nourished in 
the hearts of those in whom Christ dwells. Of which 
things the breaking of bread by Christ with his dis- 
ciples was a figure, which even they who had received 
the substance used in the church for a time, for the 
sake of the weak; even as abstaining from things 
strangled, and from blood, the washing one another's 
feet, and the anointing of the sick with oil : all which 

* Sprinkling of infants, or Infant-Baptism, as it is called, was first in- 
troduced into the Western Church by Augustine, about the year 420, 
that is to say, in the fifth century of the Christian aera, accompanied 
with an order of a Synod held at Mela, in Africa, or at the Isle of Malta, 
(for at which is doubtful,) enjoining the belief of original sin, of which 
infant-baptism is obviously the natural appendage. 

See RoMiison's Ecclesiastical Researches. 

The practice of this ceremony, according to Kobinson, in his History 
of Baptism, article Aspersion, page 450, was introduced into this kingdom 
in the time of Oliver Cromwell, chiefly by the zeal of Dr. Lightfoot, 
who, in an Assembly of Divines, (as it is termed,) obtained a majority of 
25 to 21 votes in favour of Sprinkling, instead of Dipping, as previously 
practised. — Edit. 


are commanded with no less authority and solenmity 
than the former ; yet seeing they are but shadows of 
better things, they cease in such as have obtained the 

§. I. The communion of the body and blood of Christ is 
a mystery hid from all natural men, in their fallen 
and degenerate state, which they cannot understand, 
nor comprehend, as they there abide ; neither can they 
be partakers of it, nor yet are tliey able to discern 
the Lord's body. And forasmuch as the Christian 
world (so called) for the most part hath been still con- 
ceiving and imagining, in their own natural understandings, 
about the things of God and religion ; therefore hath this 
mystery been much hid from them, while they have been 
contending one with another about the mere form, but 
strangers to the life and virtue. 

.§. II. The body then of Christ, which believers par- 
take of, is spiritual, and not carnal ; and his blood, which 
they drink of, is pure and heavenly, and not human or ele- 

If it be asked then. What that body, what that flesh 
and blood is ? 

I answer ; This is that spiritual body of Christ, where- 
by he communicateth life to men, and salvation to as many 
as believe in him, and receive him ; and whereby also man 
comes to have communion with God. This is proved from 
the 6th of John, from verse 32, to the end, where Christ 
speaks more at large of this matter, than in any other 
place: and it is observable, that though this beloved dis- 
ciple speaks nothing of the ceremony used by Christ, of 
breaking bread with his disciples, neither in his evangelical 
account of Christ's life and sufferings, nor in his ci)istles ; 
yet he is more large in this account of the [)articii)atioii of 


the body, flesh, and blood of Christ, than any of them all. 
For Christ, in this chapter, perceiving that the Jews did 
follow him for love of the loaves, desires them (ver. 27.) to 
labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat 
which cndureth for ever : but forasmuch as they, being 
carnal in their apprehensions, and not understanding the 
spiritual language and doctrine of Christ, did judge the 
manna, which iNloscs gave their fathers, to be the most ex- 
cellent bread, as coming from heaven; Christ, to rectify 
that mistake, affirmeth. First, that it is not Moses, but his 
Father, that giveth the true bread from heaven, ver. 32 
and 48. Secondly, This bread he calls himself, ver. 35. 
" I am the bread of life:" and ver. 51. "I am the living 
bread, which came down from heaven." Thirdly, He 
declares that this bread is his flesh, ver. 51. " The 
bread that I will give, is my flesh ; and ver. 55. " For my 
flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." 
Fourthly, The necessity of partaking thereof, ver. 53. 
" Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his 
blood, ye have no life in you." And Lastly, Tlie blessed 
fruits and necessary effects of this communion of the body 
and blood of Christ. Ver. 33. " This bread giveth life to 
the world." Ver. SO. " He that eateth thereof, dieth not." 
Ver. 58. " He that eateth of this bread, shall live for ever." 
Ver. 54. " Whoso eateth this flesh, and drinkcth this 
blood, shall live for ever." Ver. 56. "And he dwelleth 
in Christ, and Christ in him." Ver. 57. " And shall live 
by Christ." From this large description of the origin, 
nature, and effects of this body, flesh, and blood of Christ, 
it is apparent that it is spiritual, and to be understood of a 
spiritual body, and not of that body of Jesus Christ, 
which was born of the virgin Mary, and in which he 
walked, lived, and suffered in the land of Judea; because 
it is said, that it is he that came down from heaven. Now 


all Christians at present generally acknowledge, that the 
outward body of Christ came not down from heaven; 
neither was it that part of Christ which came down from 
heaven. And to put the matter out of doubt, when the 
carnal Jews would have been so understanding it, he tells 
them plainly, ver. 63. " It is the Spirit that quickeneth, 
but the flesh profiteth nothing." This is also founded 
upon most sound rfeason; because it is the soul, not the 
body, that is to be nourished by this flesh and blood. 
Now outward flesh cannot nourish nor feed the soul: 
there is no analogy betwixt them ; neither is the commu- 
nion of the saints with God, by a conjunction and mutual 
participation of flesh, but of the Spirit: He that is joined 
to the Lord is one Spirit, not one flesh. For the flesh 
(I mean the outward flesh, even such as was that wherein 
Christ lived and walked when upon earth; and not flesh, 
when transformed by a metaphor, to be understood spi- 
ritually) can only partake of flesh, as spirit of spirit : as 
the body cannot feed upon spirit, neither can the spirit 
feed upon flesh. And that the flesh here spoken of is 
spiritually to be understood, appears further, inasmuch as 
that which feedeth upon it shall never die : but the bodies 
of all men once die ; yea, it was necessary that the body 
of Christ himself should die. That this body, and spiritual 
flesh and blood of Christ, is to be understood of that di- 
vine and heavenly seed, before spoken of by us, appears 
both by the nature and fruits of it. First it is said, It is 
that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life 
unto the world: now this answers to that light and seed, 
which is testified of, John i. to be the light of the Avorld, 
and the life of men. For that spiritual light and seed, as 
it receives place in men's hearts, and room to spring up 
there, is as bread to the hungry and fainting soul, that is 
(as it were) buried and dead in the hLst!^ of the world ; 


vliicli receives life again, and revives, as it partaketh of 
this heavenly bread; and they that })artake of it are 
said to come to Christ; neither can they have it, but by 
coming to him, and believing in the appearance of his 
light in their hearts; by receiving which, and believing in 
it, the participation of this body and bread is known. And 
that Christ understands the same thing here by his body, 
flesh, and blood, which is understood, John i. by the light 
enlightening every man, and the life, Sec. appears ; for the 
light and life, spoken of John i. is said to be Christ ; He 
is the true light: and the bread and flesh, &c. spoken of 
in John vi. is called Christ ; " I am the bread of life," saitli 
he. Again, They that receive that light and life, John i. 
12. obtained power to become the sons of God, by be- 
lieving in his name : so also here, John vi. 35. He that 
cometh unto this bread of life shall not hunger ; and he 
that believe^ in him, who is this bread, shall never thirst. 
So then, as there was the outward visible body of Jesus 
Christ, which took its origin from the virgin Mary ; there 
is also the spiritual body of Christ, by and through which 
he that was the Word in the beginning with God, and 
was and is GOD, did reveal himself to the sons of men 
in all ages, and whereby men in all ages come to be made 
partakers of eternal life, and to have communion with 
God and Christ. Of which body of Christ, and flesh and 
blood, if both Adam, and Seth, and Enoch, and Noah, 
and Abraham, and Moses, and David, and all the pro- 
phets and holy men of God, had not eaten, they had not 
had life in them ; nor could their inward man have been 
nourished. Now as the outward body was called Christ, 
so was also his spiritual body, no less properly, and that 
long before that outward body was in being. Hence the 
apostle saith, 1 Cor. x. 3, 4. that the Fathers did all eat 
the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spi- 


ritual drink: (for they drank of that spiritual rock that 
followed them, and that rock was Christ.) This cannot 
be understood otherwise than of this spiritual body of 
Christ; which spiritual body of Christ, though it w^s the 
saving food of the righteous both before the law and 
under the law; yet under the law it was veiled, and cover- 
ed under divers types and observations ; and not only so, 
but it was veiled, in some respect, under the outward body 
of Christ ; so that the Jews could not understand Christ's 
preaching about it while on earth : and not the Jews only, 
but many of his disciples, judging it an hard saying, mur- 
mured at it; and many from that time went back from 
him, and walked no more with him. I doubt not but that 
there are many also at this day, professing to be the disciples 
of Christ, that do as little understand this matter as those 
did, and are as apt to be offended at it, while they are 
following after the outward body, and look not to that by 
which the saints are daily nourished. For as Jesus Christ, 
in obedience to tlie will of the Father, did by the eternal 
Spirit offer up that body for a propitiation for the remis- 
sion of sins, and finished his testimony upon earth thereby, 
in a most perfect example of patience, resignation, and 
holiness, that all might be made partakers of the fruit of 
that sacrifice ; so hath he likewise poured forth into tlic 
hearts of all men a measure of that divine light and seed 
wherewith he is clothed; that thereby, reaching unto the 
consciences of all, he may raise them up out of death and 
darkness by his life and light, and they thereby may be 
made partakers of his body, and come to have fellowship 
with the Father and with the Son. 

§. III. If it be asked. How and after what manner man 
comes to partake of it, and to be fed by it? 

I answer m the plain and express words of Christ, " I am 
the bread of life," saith he ; " he that cometh to mc shall 


never hunger; he that bclievcth in mc shall never thirst." 
And again, " For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is 
drink indeed." So whosoever thou art that askest this 
question, or readest these lines, whether thou accountest 
thyself a believer, or really feelest, by a certain and sad 
experience, that thou art yet in the unbeUef, and findest 
that the outward body and flesh of Christ is so far from 
thee, that thou canst not reach it, nor feed upon it; I say, 
if for all this thou findest thy soul yet barren, hungry, and 
ready to starve, for want of something thou longest for; 
know that that liglit that discovers thy iniquity to thee, 
that shews thee thy barrenness, thy nakedness, is that 
body which thou must partake of, and feed upon: but 
that till by forsaking iniquity thou turnest to it, receivest 
it, though thou mayst hunger after it, thou canst not be 
satisfied with it; for as without outward food the natural 
body hath not life, so also saith Christ, " Except ye eat 
the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye 
have no life in you;" and as the outward body, eating 
outward food, lives thereby, so Christ saith, he that eat- 
eth hira shall live by him. So it is this inward participation 
of this inward man, of this spiritual body, by which man 
is united to God, and has communion with him. " He that 
eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood," saith Christ, 
" dwelleth in me and I him." This cannot be understood of 
eating of outward bread; and as by this the soul must 
have fellowship with God, so also, so far as ail the saints 
are partakers of this one body and one blood, they come 
also to have a joint communion. Hence the apostle, 1 Cor. 
X. 17. in this respect saith, that they being many are one 
bread and one body; and to the wise among the Corin- 
thians he saith, " The bread which we break is the com- 
munion of the body of Christ." This is the true and 
spiritual auppcr of the Lord, which men come to partake 


of, by hearing the voice of Christ, and opening tlie door 
of their hearts, and so letting him in ; according to the 
plain words of the Scripture, Rev. iii. 20. " Behold I 
stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my 
voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will 
sup with him, and he with me." So that the supper of 
the Lord, and the supping with the Lord and partaking 
of his flesh and blood, are no ways limited to the ceremony 
of breaking bread and drinking wine at particular times, 
but is truly enjoyed, as often as the soul retires into the 
light of the Lord, and feels and partakes of that heavenly 
life, by which the inward man is nourished ; which is often 
known, and enjoyed by the faithful at all times, though 
more particularly when they are assembled together to 
wait upon the Lord. 

§. IV. But what confusion the professors of Christianity 
have run into concerning this matter, is obvious ; who, for 
want of a true spiritual understanding, have sought to tie 
this supper of the Lord to that ceremony used by Christ 
before his death, of breaking bread and drinking wine 
with his disciples. And though they for the most part 
agree generally in this, yet how do they contend and de- 
bate one against another! How strangely are they strait- 
ened to make the spiritual mystery agree to that ceremony ! 
And what wild opinions have they invented, to enclose or 
affix the body of Christ to their bread and wine! From 
which opinion not only the greatest and most hurtful con- 
tests, both among the professors of Christianity in general, 
and among Protestants in particular, have arisen; but also 
such absurdities and irrational consequences have ensued, 
as make the Christian religion odious to Jews, Turks, 
and Heathens. The professors of Christianity do chiefly 
divide in this matter into three opinions. 

The first is of those that say, The substance of the 


bveail is transubstantiated into the very substance of that 
same body, flesh, and blood of Christ, which was boi-n of 
the virgin Mary, and crucified by the Jews ; so that after 
the words of consecration, as they call tliem, it is no more 
bread, but the body of Christ. 

The second is of such who say. The substance of the 
bread remains, but that also that body is in, and with, and 
under the bread ; so that both the substance of bread, 
and of the body, flesh, and blood of Christ is there also. 

The third is of those, that denying both these, do 
affirm, That the body of Christ is not there corporally or 
substantially, but yet that it is really and sacramentally re- 
ceived by the faithful in the use of bread and wine; but 
how or what way it is there, they know not, nor can they 
tell, only we must believe it is there, yet so that it is only 
properly in heaven. It is not my design to enter into a 
refutation of these several opinions; for each of their 
authors and assertors have sufficiently refuted one ano- 
ther, and are all of them no less strong both from Scrip- 
ture and reason in refuting each their contrary parties' 
opmion, than they are weak in establishing their own. 
But because it hath been generally supposed that the 
communion of the body and blood of Christ had some 
special relation to the ceremony of breaking bread, I shall 
first refute that opinion, and then proceed to consider the 
nature and use of that ceremony, and whether it be now 
necessary to continue. 

§. V. First, It must be understood that I speak of a 
necessary and peculiar relation otherwise than in a general 
respect: for inasmuch as our communion with Christ is 
and ought to be our greatest and chiefest work, we ought 
to do all other things with a respect to God, and our fel- 
lowship with him; but a special and necesssary respect or 
relation is such as where the two things are so tied and 


united together, eitlicr of their own nature, or by the 
coinmancl of God, that the one cannot be enjoyed, or at 
least is not, except very extraordinarily, ■without the 
other. Thus salvation Iiath a necessary respect to holi- 
ness, because without holiness no man shall see God ; and 
the eating of the flesh and blood of Christ hath a neces- 
sary respect to our having life, because if we eat not his 
flesh, and drink not his blood, we cannot have life; and 
our feeling of God's presence hath a necessary respect to 
our meeting in his name by divine precept, because lie 
has promised, where two or three are met together in his 
name, he will be in the midst of them. In like manner 
our receiving benefits and blessings from God has a neces- 
sary respect to our prayer, because if we ask, lie hatli 
promised we shall receive. Now the participation of the 
flesh and blood of Christ hath no such necessary relation 
to breaking of bread and drinking of wine ; for if it had 
any such necessary relation, it would either be from the 
nature of the thing, or from some divine precept ; but we 
shall shew it is from neither. 

First, It is not from the nature of it ; because to par- 
take of the flesh and blood of Christ is a spiritual exercise, 
and all confess that it is by the soul and spirit that we 
become real partakers of it, as it is the soul, and not the 
body, that is nourished by it. But to eat bread and drink 
wine is a natural act, which in itself adds nothing to the 
soul, neither has any thing that is spiritual in it ; because 
the most carnal man that is, can as fully and as wholly oat 
bread and drink wine as the most spiritual. Secondly, 
Their relation is not by nature, else they would infer one 
another; but all acknowledge that many eat of the bread 
and drink of the wine, even that which they say is conse- 
crate and transubstantiate into the very body of Cln-ist, 
who notwithstanding have not life eternal, luive not Christ 


dwelling in them, nor do live by him, as all do who truly 
partake of the flesh and blood of Christ without the 
use of this ceremony; as all the patriarchs and pro- 
phets did before this ordinance^ as they account it, was in- 
stituted. Neither was there any thing under the law that 
had any direct or necessary relation hereunto; though to 
partake of the flesh and blood of Christ in all ages was 
indispensably necessary to salvation. For as for the 
paschal lamb, the whole end of it is signified particularly, 
Exod. xiii. S, 9, to wit, That the Jews might thereby be 
kept in remembrance of their deUverance out of Egypt. 

Secondly, It hath not relation by divine precept; for if 
it had, it would be mentioned in that which our opponents 
account the institution of it, or else in the practice of it by 
the saints recorded in the Scripture ; but so it is not. For 
ag to the institution, or rather narration, of Christ's prac- 
tice in this matter, we have it recorded by the evangelists 
Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In the first two there is only 
an account of the matter of fact, to wit, That Christ brake 
bread, and gave it to his disciples to eat, saying, This is 
my body; and blessing the cup, he gave it them to drink, 
saying, This is my blood ; but nothing of any desire to 
them to do it. In the last, after the bread (but before the 
blessing, or giving them the wine) he bids them do it in 
remembrance of him. But what necessary relation hath 
all this to the beUevers partaking of the flesh and blood 
of Christ ? The end of this for which they were to do it, 
if at all, is to remember Christ ; which the apostle yet 
more particularly expresses, 1 Cor. xi. 26. to shew forth 
the Lord's death; but to remember the Lord, or declare 
his death, which are the particular ends annexed to the 
use of this ceremony, is not at all to partake of the flesh 
and blood of Christ; neither have they any more neces- 
sary relation to it than any other two different spiritual 

240 PROPOSITION xiir. 

duties. For tliougli they that partake of the flesh and 
blood of Christ cannot but remember him, yet the Lord 
and his death may be remembered, as none can deny, 
•where his flesh and blood is not truly partaken of. So that 
since the express end of this ceremony may be witnessed, 
to wit, the remembrance of the Lord's death, and yet the 
flesh and blood of Christ not partaken of, it cannot have 
had any necessary relation to it, else the partaking thereof 
would have been the end of it, and could not have been 
attained without this participation. 

But if it be said, That Jesus Christ calls the bread here 
his body, and the wine his blood, therefore he seems to 
have had a special relation to his disciples partaking of 
his flesh and blood m the use of this thing ; 

I answer. His calling the bread his body, and the wine 
his blood, would yet infer no such thing; though it is not de- 
nied but that Jesus Christ, in all things he did, and from the 
use of all natural things, took occasion to raise the minds 
of his disciples and hearers to spirituals. Hence from the 
woman of Samaria her drawing water, he took occasion to 
tell her of that living water, which whoso drinketh of shall 
never thirst ; which indeed is all one with his blood here 
spoken of; yet it will not follow that that well or water 
had any necessary relation to the living water, or the liv- 
ing water to it, &c. So Christ takes occasion, from the 
Jews following him for the loaves, to tell them of this 
spiritual bread and flesh of his body, which was more 
necessary for them to feed upon ; it will not therefore fol- 
low that their following him for the loaves had any neces- 
sary relation thereunto. So also Christ here, being at 
supper with his disciples, takes occasion, from the bread 
and wine which was before them, to signify, That as that 
bread which he brake unto them, and that wine which he 
blessed and gave unto them, did contribute to the nou- 


rishing of their bodies, so was he also to give his body and 
shed his blood for the salvation of their souls. And there- 
fore the very end proposed in this ceremony to those that 
observe it is, to be a memorial of his death. 

But if it be said, That the apostle, 1 Cor. x. 16. calls 
the bread which he brake the communion of the body of 
Christ, and the cup the communion of his blood; 

I most willingly subscribe unto it; but do deny that this 
is understood of the outward bread, neither can it be 
evinced, but the contrary is manifest from the context : for 
the apostle in this chapter speaks not one word of that 
ceremony ; for having in the beginning of it shewn them 
how the Jews of old were made partakers of the spiritual 
food and water, which was Christ, and how several of 
them, through disobedience and idolatry, fell from that 
good condition, he exhorts them, by the example of those 
Jews whom God destroyed of old, to flee those evils; 
shewmg them that they, to wit, the Corinthians, are like- 
wise partakers of the body and blood of Christ; of which 
communion they would rob themselves if they did evil, 
because they could not drink of the cup of the Lord and 
the cup of devils, and partake of the Lord's table and the 
tables of devils, ver. 21, which shews that he understands 
not here the using of outward bread and wine ; because 
those that do drink the cup of devils, and eat of the table 
of devils, yea, the wickedest of men, may partake of the 
outward bread and outward wine. For there the apostle 
calls the bread one, ver. 17. and he saith, " We being many, 
are one bread, and one body ; for we are all partakers of 
that one bread." Now if the bread be one, it cannot be 
the outward, or the inward would be excluded ; whereas 
it cannot be denied but that it is the partaking of the in- 
ward bread, and not the outward, that makes the saints 
truly one body and one bread. And whereas they say, 



tliat the one bread here comprehendeth both the outward 
and inward, by virtue of the sacramental union ; that in- 
deed is to affirm, but not to prove. 

But that which they most of all cry out for in this mat- 
ter, and are always urging, is from 1 Cor. xi. where the 
apostle is particularly treating of this matter, and there- 
fore from some words here, they have the greatest ap-. 
pearance of truth for their assertion, as ver. 27. where he 
calls the cup the cup of the Lord; and saith, That they 
who eat of it and drink it unworthily, are guilty of the 
body and blood of the Lord; and ver. 29. Eat and drink 
their own damnation ; intunating hence, that this hath an 
immediate or necessary relation to the body, flesh, and 
blood of Christ. 

Though this at first view may catch the unwary reader, 
yet being well considered, it doth no ways evince the mat- 
ter in controversy. As for the Corinthians being in the 
use of this ceremony, why they were so, and how that 
obUges not Christians now to the same, shall be spoken of 
hereafter: it suffices at this time to consider that they 
were in the use of it. Secondly, That in the use of it 
they were guilty of and committed divers abuses. Thirdly, 
That the apostle here is giving them directions how they 
may do it aright, in shewing them the right and proper 
use and end of it. 

These things being premised, let it be observed, that 
the very express use of it, according to the apostle, is to 
shew forth the Lord's death, &c. But to shew forth the 
Lord's death, and partake of the flesh and blood of Christ, 
are different things. He saith not. As often as ye eat 
this bread, and drink this cup, ye partake of the body and 
blood of Christ; but, ye shew forth the Lord's death. 
So I acknowledge that this ceremony, by those that prac- 
tise ^t, hath an immediate relation to the outward body 


and death of Christ upon tlie cross, as being properly a 
memorial of it; but it doth not thence follow that it hath 
any inward or immediate relation to believers communi- 
cating or partaking of the spiritual body and blood of 
Christ, or that spiritual supper spoken of, Rev. iii. 20. 
For though, in a general way, as every religious action in 
some respect hath a common relation to the spiritual com- 
munion of the saints with God, so we shall not deny but 
this hath a relation as others. Now for his calling the 
cup the cup of the Lord, and saying, They are guilty of 
the body and blood of Christ, and eat their own damna- 
tion in not discerning the Lord's body, &c. I answer, 
That this infers no more necessary relation than any other 
religious act, and amounts to no more than this, That 
since the Corinthians were in the use of this ceremony, 
and so performed it as a religious act, they ought to do 
it worthily, or else they should bring condemnation upon 
themselves. Now this will not more infer the thinff so 
practised by them to be a necessary religious act obliga- 
tory upon others, than when the apostle saith, Rom. xiv. 
6. " He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the 
Lord," it can be thence inferred that the days that some 
observed did lay an obligation upon others to do the 
same. But yet, as he that esteemed a day, and placed 
conscience in keeping it, was to regard it to the Lord, and 
so it was to him, in so far as he dedicated it unto the 
Lord, the Lord's day, he was to do it worthily; and if he 
did it unworthily, he would be guilty of the Lord's day, 
and so keep it to his own condemnation ; so also such aS 
observe this ceremony of bread and wine, it is to them the 
bread of the Lord, and the cup of the Lord, because they 
use it as a rehgious act; and forasmuch as their end 
therein is to shew forth the Lord's death, and remember 
his body that was crucified for them, and his blood that 

R 2 


was shed for fhem; if notwithstanding, because they be' 
lieve it is their duty to do it, and make it a matter of con- 
science to do it, or think they sin in not doing it, they do 
it without that due preparation and examination which 
every religious act ought to be performed in ; then, instead 
of truly remembering the Lord's death, and his body and 
his blood, they render themselves guilty of it; as being in 
one spirit with those that crucified him, and shed his 
blood, though pretending with thanksgiving and joy to 
remember it. Thus the Scribes and Pharisees of old, 
though, in memory of the prophets, they garnished their 
sepulchres, yet are said by Christ to be guilty of their 
blood. And that no more can be hence inferred, appears 
from another saying of the same apostle, Rom. xiv. 23. 
" He that doubteth is damned if he eat," &c. where he, 
speaking of those that judged it unlawful to eat flesh, &c, 
saith. If they eat doubting, they eat their own damnation. 
Now it is manifest from all this, that either the doing or 
forbearing of this was to another, that placed no con- 
science in it, of no moment. So I say, be that eateth that 
which in his conscience he is persuaded it is not lawful 
for him to eat, doth eat his own damnation; so he also 
that placeth conscience in eating bread and wine as a re- 
ligious act, if he do it unprepared, and without that due 
respect wherein such acts should be gone about, he eateth 
and drinketh his own condemnation, not discerninar the 
Lord's body, i. e. not minding what he doeth, to wit, with 
a special respect to the Lord, and by way of special com- 
memoration of the death of Christ. 

§. VL Having now sufficiently shewn what the true 
communion of the body and blood of Christ is, how it is 
partaken of, and how it has no necessary relation to that 
ceremony of bread and wine used by Christ with his dis- 
ciples ; it is fit to consider the nature and constitution of 


tliat ceremony, whether it be a standing ordinance in th« 
church of Christ obHgatory upon all, or indeed whether it 
be any necessary part of the worship of the new covenant 
dispensation, or hath any better foundation than several 
other ceremonies practised about the same time, which 
the most of our opposers acknowledge to be ceased, and 
now no ways binding upon Christians. We find this cere- 
mony only mentioned in Scripture in four places, to wit, 
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and by Paul to the Corin- 
thians. If any would infer any thing from the frequency 
of the mentioning of it, that will add nothing; for it being 
a matter of fact, is therefore mentioned by the evange- 
lists; and there are other things less memorable, as often, 
yea, oftener mentioned. Matthew and Mark give only an 
account of the matter of fact, without any precept to do so 
afterwards ; simply declaring, that Jesus at that time did 
desire them to eat of the bread, and drink of the cup ; 
to which Luke adds these words, " This do in remem- 
brance of me." If we consider this action of Christ with 
his apostles, there will appear nothing singular in it for a 
foundation to such a strange superstructure as many have 
sought to build upon it; for both Matthew and Mark 
express it as an act done by him as he was eating. Mat- 
thew saith, "And as they were eating;" and Mark, " And 
as they did eat, Jesus took bread," &c. Now this act was 
no singular thing, neither any solemn institution of a gos- 
pel ordinance; because it was a constant custom among 
the Jews, that when they did eat the passover, the master 
of the tamily did take bread, and bless it, and breaking it, 
gave of it to the rest; and likewise taking wine, did the 
same ; so that there can nothing further appear in this, 
than that Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all righteousness, and 
also observed the Jewish feasts and customs, used this 
also among his disciples only, that as in most other things 


he laboured to draw their minds to higher things, so in 
the use of this he takes occasion to put them in mind of 
his death and sufferings, which were shortly to he ; which 
he did the oftener inculcate unto them, for that they were 
averse from beUeving it. And as for that expression of 
Luke, " Do this in remembrance of me," it will amount 
to no more than this, that being the last time that Chiist 
did eat with his disciples, he desired them, that in their 
eating and drinking they might have regard to him, and 
by the remembering of that opportunity, be the more stir- 
red up to follow him diligently through sufFermgs and 
death, &c. But what man of reason, laying aside the 
prejudice of education, and the influence of tradition, will 
say, that this account of the matter of fact given by Mat- 
thew and Mark, or this expression of Luke, to do that 
in remembrance of him, will amount to these conse- 
quences, which the generahty of Christians have sought 
to draw from it; as caUing it, the principal seal of the 
covenant of grace, by which all the benefits of Christ's 
death are sealed to behevers*? But to give a further 
evidence, how these consequences have not any bottom 
from the practice of that ceremony, nor from the words 
following, " Do this," &c. let us consider another of the 
Uke nature, as it is at length expressed by John, chap, 
xiii. 3, 4, 8, 13, 14, 15. "Jesus risetli from supper, and 
laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and girded him- 
self: after that, he poureth water into a basin, and began 
to wash the disciples' feet; and to wipe them with the towel 
wherewith he was ghded: Peter said unto him, Thou 
shalt never wash my feet; Jesus answered him. If I wash 
thee not, thou hast no part with me. So after he had 

■ Also, Aiigustissimuni Eiicharistiae SacramciUum ; vcncrabilc altaris 


washed their feet, — he said, KnoAv ye what I have done 
to you ? If I then your Lord and Master have washed 
your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet : for 
I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have 
done to you." If we regard the narration of this, and the 
circumstances attending it, it was done with far more so- 
lemnity, and prescribed far more particularly than the 
former. It is said onlv. As he was eating, he took 
bread; so that this would seem to be but an occasional 
business: but here he rose up, he laid by his garments, he 
girded himself, he poured out the water, he washed their 
feet, he wiped them with a towel: he did this to all of 
them; which are circumstances surely far more observable 
than those noted in the other. The former was a prac- 
tice common among the Jews, used by all masters of fami- 
lies upon that occasion ; but this, as to the manner, and 
person acting it, to wit, for the master to rise up, and 
wash the feet of his sen'ants and disciples, was more sin- 
gular and observable. In the breaking of bread, and giv- 
ing of wine, it is not pleaded by our opponents, nor yet 
mentioned in the text, that he particularly put them into 
the hands of all; but breaking it, and blessing it, gav-e it 
the nearest, and so they from hand to hand : but here it 
is mentioned, that he washed not the feet of one or two, 
but of many. He saith not in the fomier, that if they do 
not eat of that bread, and drink of that wine, they should 
be prejudiced by it; but here he saith expressly to Peter, 
that if he wash him not, he hath no part with him ; which 
being spoken upon Peter's refusing to let him wash his 
feet, would seem to import no less, than not the con- 
tinuance only, but even the necessity of this ceremony. 
In the former he saith, as it were passingly, " Do this in 
remembrance of me ;"' but here he sitteth down again, he 
desires them to consider what he hath done, tells them 


positively, that as he hath done to them, so ought they to 
do one to another: and yet again he redoubles that pre- 
cept, by teUing them, he has given them an example, that 
they should do so likewise. If we respect the nature of 
the thing, it hath as much in it as either baptism or the 
breaking of bread ; seeing it hath an outward element of 
a cleansing nature, applied to the outward man, by the 
command and example of Christ, to signify an inward 
purifying. I would willingly propose this seriously to 
men, who will be pleased to make use of that reason and 
understanding that God hath given them, and not be im- 
posed upon, nor abused by the custom or tradition of 
others; Whether this ceremony, if we respect either the 
time that it was appointed in, or the circumstances where- 
with it >yas performed, or the command enjoining the use 
of it, hath not as much to recommend it for a standing 
ordinance of the gospel, as either water-baptism, or bread 
;and wine, or any other of that kind? 

But if they say. That it is used among them, in that the 
Pope, and some other persons among them, used to do it 
once a year to some poor people ; 

I would wilUngly kuow what reason they have why this 
should not be extended to all, as well as that of the 
eucharist (as they term it) or whence it appears from the 
text that. Do this in remembrance of' met should be inter- 
preted that the bread and wine were every day to be 
taken by all priests, or the bread every day, or every 
week, by the people ; and that that other command of 
Christ, " Ye ought to do as I have done to you," &c. is 
only to be understood of the Pope, or some other persons, 
to be done only to a few, and that once a year? If we 
look into the plain Scripture, what can be thence inferred 
to urge the one, which may not be Hkewise pleaded for 
the other ; or for laying aside the one, w hich may not bq 


likewise said against the continuance of the other ? If they 
say, That the former, of washing the feet, was only a cere- 
mony; what have they, whence they can shew, that this 
breaking of bread is more ? If they say. That the former 
was only a sign of humility and purifying; what have they 
to prove that this was more ? If they say. That one was 
only for a time, and was no evangelical ordinance ; what 
hath this to make it such, that the other wanted ? But 
since the former, to wit, the washing of one another's feet, 
is justly laid aside, as not binding upon Christians; so 
ought also the breaking of bread for the same reason. 

§. VII. But it is strange that those who are so cla- 
morous for this ceremony, and stick so much to it, take 
hberty to dispense with the manner or method that Christ 
did it in. Christ did it at supper, while they were eating ; 
but the generahty of Protestants do it in the morning only 
by itself. If it be said, These are but circumstances, and not 
the matter; and if the matter be kept to, the alteration of 
circumstances is but of small moment : What if it should 
be said the whole is but a circumstance, which fell out at 
that time, when Christ eat the passover ? For if we have 
regard to that which alone can be pleaded for an institu- 
tion, viz. these words: " Do this in remembrance of me;" 
it doth as properly relate to the manner as matter. For 
what may or can they evince in reason, that these words, 
Do this, only signify eat bread and drink wine, but it is 
no matter when ye eat, nor how ye eat it; and not as ye 
have seen me eat it at supper with you, who take bread, 
and break it and give it you; and take the cup, and bless 
it and give it you; so do ye likewise ? And seeing Christ 
makes no distinction in those words. Do this, it cannot 
be judged in reason but to relate to the whole ; which if it 
do, all those that at present use this ceremony among 
Christians, have not yet obeyed this precept, nor fulfilled 

250 PROPOSITION xiir. 

this institution. If it be said, That the time and manner 
of doing it by Christ was but accidentally, as being after 
the Jewish passover, which was at supper ; 

Besides that it may be answered, and easily proved, that 
the whole was accidental, as being the practice of a Jewish 
ceremony; may it not the same way be urged, that the 
drinking of wine is accidental, as being the natural pro- 
duct of that country; and so be pleaded, that in those 
countries where wine doth not grow, as in our nation of 
Scotland, we may make use of beer or ale in the use of 
this ceremony; or bread made of other grain than that 
which Christ used? And yet would not our opponents 
judge this an abuse, and not right performing of this sa- 
crament ? Have not scruples of this kind occasioned no 
little contention among the professors of Christianity ? 

§. VlII. Now as the early Christians began by degrees 
to depart from that primitive purity and simplicity, so did 
they also to accumulate superstitious traditions, and vitiate 
the innocent practices of their predecessors, by the inter- 
mixing either of Jewish or Heathenish rites ; and likewise 
in the use of this, abuses began very early to creep in 
among Christians, so that it was needful for the apostle 
Paul to reform them, and reprove them for it, as he doth 
at large, 1 Cor. xi. from ver. 17. to the end; which place 
we shall particularly examine, because our opponents lay 
the chief stress of their matter upon it ; and we shall see 
whether it will infer any more than we have above granted. 
First, Because they were apt to use that practice in a su- 
perstitious mind beyond the true use of it, so as to make of 
it some mystical supper of the Lord, he tells them, ver. 20. 
That their " coming togethet into one place, is not to eat 
the Lord''s supper ;" he saith not, This is not the right 
manner to eat ; but, This is not to cat the Lord's sup- 
per: because tlie supper of the Lord is spiritual, and a 


mystery. Secondly, He blames them, in that they came 
together for the worse, and not for the better; the reason 
he gives of this is, ver. SI. " For in eating every one hath 
taken before his own supper ; and one is hungry, and ano- 
ther is drunken." Here it is plain that the apostle con- 
demns them in that (because this custom of supping in 
general was used among Christians to increase their love, 
and as a memorial of Christ's supping with his disciples) 
they had so vitiated it, as to eat it apart, and to come fvill, 
who had abundance ; and hungry, who had little at home ; 
whereby the very use and end of this practice was lost and 
perverted : and therefore he blames them, that they did 
not either eat this in common at home, or reserve their eat- 
ing till they came all together to the public assembly. This 
appears plainly by the following, ver. 22. " Have ye not 
houses to eat and drink in ? Or despise ye the church of 
God, and shame them that have not ?" Having thus ob- 
served what the apostle said above, because this custom of 
eating and drinking together some time had its rise from 
Christ's act with the apostles the night he was betrayed ; 
therefore the apostle proceeds, ver. 23. to give them an 
account of that: " For I have received of the Lord that 
which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the 
same night in which he was betrayed, took bread," &c. 
Those that understand the difference betwixt a narration 
of a thing, and a command, cannot but see, if they will, 
that there is no command in this place, but only an account 
of matter of fact: he saith not, I received of the Lord, 
that as he took bread, so I should command it to you to 
do so like^vise ; there is nothing like this in the place : on 
the contrary, ver 25. where he repeats Christ's imperative 
words to his apostles, he placeth them so as they import 
no command ; " This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in re- 
membrance of me :" and then he adds: '* For as often as 


ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's 
death till he come: but these words, as often, import no 
more a command, than to say, As often as thou goest to 
Rome, see the Capitol, will infer a command for men to go 

But whereas they urge the last words, " Ye shew forth 
the Lord's death till he come ;" insinuating. That this im- 
ports a necessary continuance of that ceremony, until 
Christ come at the end of the world to judgment. 

I answer ; They take two of the chief parts of the con- 
troversy here for granted, without proof. First, that as 
often imports a command. Secondly, That this coming is 
to be understood of Christ's last outward coming, and not 
of his inward and spiritual, that remains to be proved : 
whereas the apostle might well understand it of his inward 
coming and appearance, which perhaps some of those car- 
nal Corinthians, that used to come drunken together, had 
not yet known ; and others, being weak among them, and 
inclinable to dote upon externals, this might have been in- 
dulged to them for a season, and even used by those who 
knew Christ's appearance in Spirit, especially by the apostle, 
who became weak to the weak, and all to all, that he might 
save some. Now those weak and carnal Corinthians might 
be permitted the use of this, to shew forth, or remember 
Christ's death, till he came to arise in them ; for though such 
need those outward things to put them in mind of Christ's 
death, yet those who are dead with Christ, and not only dead 
with Christ, but buried, and also arisen with him, need not 
such signs to remember him : and to such therefore the apos- 
tle saith. Col. iii. 1 . "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek 
those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the 
right hand of God:" but bread and wine are not those 
things that are above, but are things of the earth. But that 
this whole matter was a mere act of condescension of the 


apostle Paul to the weak and carnal Corinthians, appears 
yet more by the Syriac copy*, which, ver. 17. in his enter- 
ing upon this matter hath it thus : " In that concerning 
which I am about to command you, (or instruct you,) I 
commend you not, because ye have not gone forward, but 
are descended unto that which is less, or of less conse- 
quence:" clearly importing that the apostle was grieved 
that such was their condition, that he was forced to give 
them instructions concerning those outward things ; and 
doting upon which, they shewed they were not gone for- 
ward in the life of Christianity, but rather sticking in beg- 
garly elements. And therefore, ver. 20. the same version 
hath it thus, " When then ye meet together, ye do not do 
it, as it is just ye should do in the day of the Lord, ye eat 
and drink it:" thereby shewing to them, that to meet toge- 
ther to eat and drink outward bread and wine, was not the 
labour and work of that day of the Lord. 

§. IX. But since we find that several testimonies of 
Scripture do sufficiently shew, that such external rites are 
no necessary part of the new covenant dispensation, there- 
fore not needful now to continue, however they were for a 
season practised of old, I shall instance some few of them, 
whereby from the nature of the thing, as well as those testi- 
monies, it may appear, that the ceremony of bread and 
wine is ceased, as well as those other things confessed by 
our opponents to be so. The first is Rom. xiv. 17. 
** For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but 
righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost:" here 
the apostle evidently shews, that the kingdom of God, or 
gospel of Christ, stands not in meats and drinks, and such 
like things, but in righteousness, &c. as by the context 

• And likewise the other Orkntal Versions, as the Arabic and /Ethiopic^ 
have it the same way. 


(loth appear, whei'e he is speaking of the guilt and hazard 
of judging one another about meats and drinks. So then, 
if the kingdom of God stand not in them, nor the gospel, 
nor work of Christ, then the eating of outward bread and 
wine can be no necessary part of the gospel-worship, nor 
any perpetual ordinance of it. Another testimony of the 
same apostle is yet more plain. Col. ii. 16. the apostle 
throughout this whole second chapter doth clearly plead 
for us, and against our opposers : for in the beginning he 
holds forth the great privileges, which Christians have by 
Christ, who are indeed come to the life of Christianity ; 
and therefore he desires them, ver. 6. " As they have re- 
ceived Christ, so to walk in him ; and to beware, lest they 
be spoiled through philosophy and vain deceit, after the 
rudiments or elements of the world ; because that in Christ, 
whom they have received, is all fulness : and that they are 
circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, 
(which he calls the circumcision of Christ,) and being 
buried with him by baptism, are also arisen with him 
through the faith of the operation of God." Here also 
they did partake of the true baptism of Christ ; and being 
such as are arisen with him, let us see whether he thinks 
it needful they should make use of such meat and drink as 
bread and wine, to put them m remembrance of Christ's 
death ; or whether they ought to be judged, that they did 
it not ; ver. 16. *' Let no man therefore judge you in meat 
and drink." Are not bread and wine meat and drink ? But 
why? "Which are a shadow of good things to come: 
but the body is of Christ." Then since our opponents 
confess, that their bread and wine is a sign or shadow ; 
therefore, according to the apostle's doctrine, we ought not 
to be judged in the non-observation of it. But is it fit for 
those that are dead with Christ to be subject to such ordi- 
nances? See what he saith, ver. 20. " Wherefore, if ye 


be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, 
why, as though Uving in the world, are ye subject to ordi- 
nances? (Touch not, taste not, handle not: which all are 
to perish with the using,) after the commandments and 
doctrines of men." What can be more plain? If this 
serve not to take away the absolute necessity of the use of 
bread and wine, Avhat can serve to take it away ? Sure I 
am, the reason here given is applicable to them, " which 
all do perish with the using ;" since bread and wine perish 
with the using, as much as other things. But further, if 
the use of water, and bread and wine, were that wherein 
the very seals of the new covenant stood, and did pertain 
to the chief sacraments of the gospel (so called) and evan- 
gelical ordinances, then would not the gospel differ from 
the law, or be preferable to it. Whereas the apostle 
shews the difference, Heb. ix. 10. in that such kind of 
observations of the Jews were as a sign of the gospel, for 
that they stood only in meats and drinks, and divers wash- 
ings. But if the gospel-worship and service stand in the 
same, where is the difference? 

If it be said, These under the gospel have a spmtual 

So had those under the law ; God was the author of 
those, as well as Christ is said to be the author of these. 
But doth not this contending for the use of water, bread, 
and wine, as necessary parts of the gospel-worship, destioy 
the nature of it, as if the gospel were a dispensation of 
shadows, and not of the substance? Whereas the apostle 
argues against the use of these things, as needful to those 
that are dead and arisen with Christ, because they are but 
shadows. And since, through the whole epistle to the 
Hebrews, he argues with the Jews, to wean them from 
their old worship, for this reason, because it was typical 
and figurative, is it agreeable to right reason to bring 


them to another of the same nature ? What ground from 
Scripture or reason can our opponents bring us, to evince 
that one shadow or figure should point to another shadow 
or figure, and not to the substance ? 

8. X. But supposing the use of water-baptism and 
bread and wine to have been in the primitive church, as 
was also that of abstaining from things strangled, and 
from blood, the use of legal purification, Acts xxi. 23, 24, 
25, and anointing of the sick with oil ; yet it remains for 
our opponents to shew us how they come by authority to 
administer those things. It cannot be from the letter of 
the Scripture, else they ought also to do those other things, 
which, as the letter declares, the ancient Christians did, 
and which in the letter have as much foundation. Then 
their power must be derived from the apostles, either 
mediately or immediately ; but we have shewn before, in 
the tenth proposition, that they have no mediate power, 
because of the interruption made by the apostasy ; and for 
an immediate power or command by the Spirit of God to 
administer these things, none of our opponents pretend 
to it. 

§. XI. Lastly, If any now at this day, from a true ten- 
derness of spirit, and with real conscience towards God, do 
practise this ceremony in the same way and manner as did 
the primitive Christians recorded in Scripture, I should 
not doubt to affirm but they might be indulged in it, and 
the Lord might regard them, and for a season appear to 
them in the use of these things, as many of us have known 
him to do to us in the time of our ignorance ; provided 
they did not seek to obtrude them upon others, nor judge 
such as found themselves dehvered from them, or that 
they do not pertinaciously adhere to them. For we cer- 
tainly know that the day is dawned, in which God hath 
arisen, and hath dismissed all those ceremonies and rites. 


and is only to be worshipped in spirit, and that he appears 
to them who wait upon him; and that to seek God in these 
things is, with iMary at tl\e sepulchre, to seek the living 
among the dead ; for we know that he is risen, and reveal- 
ed in Spirit, leading his children out of these rudiments, 
that they may walk with him in his light; to whom be 
glory for ever, Amen. 


Concerning the Poive?' of the Civil Magistrate in 
Matters purely Religious, and pertaining to 
the Conscience. 

Since God hath assumed to himself the power and domi- 
nion of the conscience, who alone can rightly instruct 
and govern it, therefore it is not lawful for any whomso- 
ever, by virtue of any authority they bear in the govern- 
ment of this world, to force the consciences of others ; 
and therefore all killing, banishing, fining, imprisoning, 
and other such things which are inflicted upon men for 
the exercise of their conscience, or difference in worship 
or opinion, are contrary to the truth ; providing always^ 
that" no man, under the pretence of conscience, preju- 
dice his neighbour in his life or estate, or do any thing 
destructive to, or inconsistent with, human society ; in 
which case the law is for the transgressor, and justice 



is to be administered upon all, without respect of 
persons *. 

§. I. Liberty of conscience from the power of the civil 
magistate hath been of late years so largely handled, that 
I shall need to be but brief in it; yet it is to be lamented 
that few have walked answerably to this principle, pleading 
for it for themselves, but scarcely allowing it to others. 

" Matiy authorities, from the writings or sayings of men of distin- 
guished character, in the civil and religious classes of the community, 
might be adduced, tending to shew that the power of the civil magistrate 
in matters of faith and doctrine, is now rejected by all parties ; little, 
therefore, of what our Author has written under this head, by way of 
exposition, in reference to an exploded doctrine, seems necessary to be 
inserted in an abridgment ; and yet it may not be improper for the 
reader to know, that the avowed sentiments of our Author and his fellow- 
professors, are corroborated by the opinions of enlightened men, as quoted 
helow.— Editor. 

" There is this supremacy vested in every Christian, in his own be- 
half, that he has a right to judge for himself in the affairs of conscience 
and eternal salvation ; a right not to be prejudiced by the claims of power 
and authority, in any men upou earth." 

HoADLY, Bishop of Bangor. 
Common Rights of Subjects defended, p. 125. 

" Another thing to be considered by all Christians is, that the religion 
delivered by Christ can be justly supported only by Christ's methods. 
All the laws and Acts of Parliament in the world, can only support an 
outward profession of something, which, as far as it is received from men, 
and practised as the will of men, or the law of men, is so far different 
from the religion of Christ. They may keep up an human constitution ; 
and either allure men by temporal rewards to adhere to the outward 
form of it ; or terrify men by temporal inconveniences from departing 
from it ; or indispose men by both, from examining at all, what it is for 
their ease and their interest to take as it is offered to them. But the re»- 
ligion delivered by Christ, as such, is not concerned in such laws. It 
subsisted, the sincere profession of it subsisted, not only Avithout, but 
often against human laws ; which is a demonstration, that whatever it is 


By conscience, as in the explanation of the fifth and 
sixth propositions I have observed, is to be understood 
that persuasion of tlie mind which arises from the under- 
standing's being possessed with the behef of the truth or 
falsity of any thing ; which though it may be false or evil 
upon the matter, yet if a man should go against his per- 
suasion or conscience, he would commit a sin; because 
what a man doth contrary to his faith, though his faith be 
wrong, is no ways acceptable to God. Hence the apostle 
saith, " Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin ; and he that 

that such laws are necessary to preserve, it is not the religion delivered 
by Christ : nor ought the people to be so imposed upon, as to be made to 
believe this." 

HoADLY, Bishop of Bangor. 
Common Rii;lds of Suhjecis defended., p. 170. 

" No man, or number of men, may presume to set up their own 
judgment, or their own will, for a law of Christ : or add a single article, 
as a necessary one, to that rule of faith and practice, which was once de- 
livered uiito the saints." 

Archbishop Secker. 
Works, Vol. II. p. 505. 

" The Toleration Act renders that which was illegal before, now legal; 
the Dissenters' way of worship is permitted and allowed by this Act: it 
is not only exempted from punishment, but rendered innocent and law- 
ful, it is established : it is put under the protection, and is not merely 
under the connivance, of the law — It cannot be shewn from the princi- 
ples of natural or revealed religion, that, independent of positive law, 
temporal punishments ought to be inflicted for mere opinions with respect 
to particular modes of worship." 

" Conscience is not controllable by human laws, nor amenable to 
human tribunals. Persecution, or attempts to force conscience, will 
never produce conviction, and are only calculated to make hypocrites 

or martyi-s." 

Chief Justice Maxsfiei.d. 
In the House of Lords, in the case of the Charnberlain of Londwi against 
Allan Evans, Esq. Mi of 2nd Mo. (February,) l/CT- 

s 'Z 


tloubtetli is (lamnetl if he eat ;" though the thing might 
have been lawful to another. 

Though we would not have men hurt in their temporals, 
nor robbed of their privileges as men and members of the 
commonwealth, because of their inward persuasion ; yet we 
are far from judging that in the church of God there 
should not be censures exercised against such as fall into 
error, as well as such as commit open evils ; and therefore 
we believe it may be very lawful for a Christian church, if 
she find any of her members fall into error, after due ad- 
monitions and instructions according to gospel order, if she 
find them pertinacious, to cut them off* from her fellow- 
ship, and deprive them of those privileges which they had 
as fellow-members. But not to cut them off* from the 
world by the temporal sword, or rob them of their common 
privileges as men, seeing they enjoy not these as Christians, 
or under such a fellowship, but as men, and members of 
the creation. 

Concerning Salutations and Recreations, <^c. 

Seeing the chief end of all religion is to redeem men from 
the spirit and vain conversation of this world, and to 
lead into inward communion with God, before whom if 
we fear always we are accounted happy; therefore all 
the vain customs and habits thereof, both in word and 
deed, are to be rejected and forsaken by those who 
come to this fear; such as uncovering the head, the 


bowings of the body, and other sahitations of that kind, 
■with all the foolish and superstitious formalities attend- 
ing them ; all which man hath invented in his degenerate 
state, to feed his pride in the vain pomp and glory of this 
world: as also the unprofitable plays, frivolous recrea- 
tions, sportings, and gamings, which are invented to pass 
away the precious time, and divert the mind from the 
witness of God in the heart, and from the living sense of 
his fear, and from that evangelical Spirit wherewith 
Christians ought to be leavened, and which leads into 
sobriety, gravity, and godly fear ; in which as we abide, 
the blessing of the Lord is felt to attend us in those 
actions in which we are necessarily engaged, in order to 
the taking care for the sustenance of the outward man. 

§. I. Having hitherto treated of the principles of religion, 
both relating to doctrine and worship, I am now to speak 
of some practices which have been the effect of these prin- 
ciples, in those witnesses whom God hath raised up in this 
day to testify for his truth. It will not a little commend 
thera, I suppose, in the judgment of sober and judicious 
men, that taking them generally, even by the confession of 
their adversaries, they are found to be free of those abo- 
minations which abound among other professors, such as 
are swearing, drunkenness, whoredom, riotousness, &c. 
and that generally the very coming among this people doth 
naturally work such a change, that many vicious persons 
have been known, by coming to this truth, to become sober 
and virtuous ; and many vain and wanton ones to become 
grave and serious. 

§. II. But there are some singular things, which most 
pf all our opponents plead for the lawfulness of, and allow 
themselves in, as no ways inconsistent with the Christiiin 
jfeligion, which we have found to be no ways lawful unto 



us ; though the doing thereof hath occasioned no small 
sufferings, and hath procured us much hatred from the 
world. And because the nature of these things is such, 
that they do upon the very sight distinguish us, and make 
us known, so that we cannot hide ourselves from any, with- 
out proving unfaithful to our testimony ; our trials and ex- 
ercises have proved the more numerous and difficult. 
These I have laboured briefly to comprehend in this pro- 
position ; but they may more largely be exhibited in these 
six following propositions. 

I. That it is not lawful to give to men such flattering 
titles, as Your Holiness, Your Majesty, Your Eminency, 
Your Excellency, Your Grace, Your Lordship, Your 
Honour, &;c. nor use those flattering words, commonly 
called Compliments. 

II. That it is not lawful for Christians to kneel, or 
prostrate themselves to men, or to bow the body, or to un- 
cover the head to them. 

III. That it is not lawful for Christians to use such 
superfluities in apparel, as are of no use, save for ornament 
and vanity. 

IV. That it is not lawful to use games, sports, plays, nor 
comedies, under the notion of recreations, which do not 
agree with Christian silence, gravity, and sobriety: for 
sporting, gaming, mocking, vain talking, &c. is not Christian 
hberty, nor harmless mirth. 

V. That it is not lawful for Christians to swear at all 
under the gospel, not only not vainly, and in their common 
discourse, which was also forbidden under the Mosaical 
law, but even not in judgment before the magistrate. 

VI. That it is not lawful for Christians to resist evil, or 
to war or fight in any case. 


Before I enter upon a particular disquisition of these 
things, I shall premise some general considerations, to 
prevent all mistakes ; and next add such as equally respect 
all of them. I would not have any judge, that hereby we 
intend to destroy the mutual relation that is betwixt prince 
and people, master and servants, parents and children; 
not at all: our principle in these things hath no such ten- 
dency, but these natural relations are rather better esta- 
blished than any ways hurt by it. Next, let not any judge, 
that from our opinion of these things, any necessity of 
levelling will foUo^v, or that all men must have things in 
common. Our principle leaves every man to enjoy that 
peaceably, which is his own, derived either from his own 
industry, or that of his predecessors ; only he is thereby in- 
structed to use it aright, both for his own good, and that of 
his brethren ; and all to the glory of God : in which also 
his acts are to be voluntary, and no ways constrained. 
And further, we say not hereby, that no man may use the 
creation more or less than another : for we know, that as 
it hath pleased God to dispense it diversly, giving to 
some more, and some less, so they may use it accordingly. 
The several conditions, under which men are diversly 
stated, together with their educations answei'ing there- 
unto, do sufficiently shew this : the servant is not the same 
way educated as the master; nor the tenant as the land- 
lord; nor the rich as the poor; nor the prince as the 
peasant. Now, though it be not lawful for any, however 
great abundance they may have, or whatever their educa- 
tion may be, to use that which is merely superfluous ; yet 
seeing their education has accustomed them thereunto, 
and their condition enables them so to do, without being 
extravagant, they may use things better in their kind, than 
such whose education hath neither accustomed them to such 
things, nor their condition will enable to compass them. 


For it is beyond question, that whatever thing the creation 
affords is for the use of man, and the moderate use thereof 
is lawful ; yet they may be unlawful to some, and not to 
others. As for instance, he that by reason of his estate 
and education hath been used to eat flesh and drink wine, 
and to be clothed with the finest wool, if his estate will 
bear it, and. he use it neither in superfluity, nor immode- 
rately, he may do it ; and perhaps, if he should apply hira^ 
self to feed, or be clothed as are the peasants, it might 
prejudice the health of his body, and nothing advance his 
soul. But if a man, whose estate and education had ac- 
customed him to both coarser food and raiment, should 
stretch himself beyond what he had, or were used to, to 
the manifest prejudice of his family, no doubt it would be 
unlawful to him even so to eat or be clothed as another, in 
whom it is lawful ; for that the other may be as much mor- 
tified, and have denied himself as much in coming down to 
that, which this aspires to, as he, in wilHng to be like him, 
aspires beyond what he either is able, or hath been accus- 
tomed to do. The safe place then is, for such as have ful- 
ness, to watch over themselves, that they use it moderately, 
and rescind all superfluities ; being willing, as far as they 
can, to help the need of those to whom Providence hath 
allotted a smaller allowance. Let the brother of hieh de- 
gree rejoice, in that he is abased; and such as God calls in 
a low degree, be content with their condition, not envying 
those brethren who have greater abundance, knowing they 
have received abundance, as to the inward man; which is 
chiefly to be regarded. And therefore beware of such a 
temptation, as to use their holy calling as an engine to be 
richer, knowing, they have this advantage beyond the 
rich and noble that are called, that the truth doth not any 
ways abase them in the esteem of the world ; but that they 
arc rather exalted thereby, in that as to the inward and 


spiritual fellowship of the saints, they become the brethren 
and companions of the greatest and richest; and in this re- 
spect, let him of low degree rejoice that he is exalted. 

These things premised, I would seriously propose unto 
all such, as choose to be Christians indeed, and that in 
nature, and not in name only, whether it were not de- 
sirable, and would not greatly contribute to the commen- 
dation of Christianity, and to the increase of the life and 
virtue of Christ, if all superfluous titles of honour, profuse- 
ness and prodigality in meat and apparel, gaming, and 
playing, were laid aside. And whether such as lay these 
things aside, in so doing, walk not more like the disciples 
of Christ and his apostles, and are therein nearer their 
example, than such as use them? 

§. III. As to the first we affirm expressly, That it is not 
lawful for Christians either to give or receive these titles 
of honour, as. Your Holiness, Your Majesty, Your Ex- 
cellency, Your Eminency, &c. 

First, Because these titles are no part of that obedience 
which is due to magistrates or superiors ; neither doth the 
giving them add to that subjection we owe to them, which 
consists in obeying their just and lawful commands, not in 
titles and designations. 

Secondly, We find not that in the Scripture any such 
titles are used, either vmder the law or the gospel: but 
that in the speaking to kings, princes, or nobles, they used 
only a simple compellation, as, O King! and that without 
any further designation, save perhaps the name of the 
person, as, O King Agrippa, &c. 

Thirdly, It lays a necessity upon Christians frequently 
to lie; because the persons obtaining these titles, either 
by election or hereditarily, may frequently be found to 
have nothing really in them deserving such titles, or an- 
swering to them: as some, to whom it is said, Your 


Excellency, having notliing of excellency in tliem; and he 
who is called, Your Grace, is perhaps an enemy to grace; 
and he who is called. Your Honour, is perhaps base and 

If it be said, We ought in charity to suppose that they 
have these virtues, because the king has bestowed those 
titles upon them, or that they are descended of such as de- 
served them; 

I answer, Charity destroys not knowledge: I am not 
obliged by charity, either to believe or speak a lie. Now 
it is apparent, and cannot be denied by any, that those 
virtues are not in many of the persons expressed by the 
titles they bear; neither will they allow to speak so to 
such, in whom these virtues are, unless they be so dignified 
by outward princes. So that such as are truly virtuous, 
must not be styled by their virtues, because not privileged 
by the princes of this world ; and such as have them not 
must be so called, because they have obtained a patent so 
to be: and all this is done by those, who pretend to be 
his followers, that commanded his disciples, Not to be 
called of men, Master; and told them, such could not be- 
lieve, as received honour one from another, and sought 
not the honour which cometh from God only. 

Fourthly, As to those titles of Holiness, Eminency, and 
Excellency, used among the Papists to the Pope and 
cardinals, &c. and Grace, Lordship, and Worship, used 
to their clergy among the Protestants, it is a blasphemous 
usurpation. For if they use Holiness and Grace, because 
these things ought to be in a Pope, or in a bishop, how 
come they to usurp that peculiarly to themselves? Ought 
not holiness and grace to be in every Christian? And 
so every Cliistian should say, Your Holiness, and Your 
Grace, one to another. Next, how can they in reason 
claim any more titles, than were practised and received by 


the apostles and primitive Christians, whose successors 
they pretend to be, and as whose successors (and no 
otherwise) themselves, I judge, will confess any honour 
they seek is due to them? Now if they neither sought, 
received, nor admitted such honour or titles, how came 
these by them ? If they say they did, let them prove it if 
they can; we find no such thing in the Scripture. The 
Christians speak of the apostles without any such denomi- 
nation ; and that not only in the Scripture, but for some 
hundreds of years after. But if these titles arise either 
jfi'om the office or worth of the persons, it will not be de- 
nied, but the apostles deserved them better than any now 
that call for them. 

Fifthly, As to that title of Majesty, usually ascribed to 
princes, we do not find it given to any such in the holy 
Scripture ; but that it is peculiarly ascribed unto God, as 
1 Chron. xxix. 11. Job xxxvii. 9,2. Psal. xxi. 5. and xxix. 
4. and xlv. S. and cxiii. 1. and cxvi. 6. Isa. ii. 10. and xxiv. 
14. and xxvi. 10. Heb. i. 3. 2 Pet. i. 16. and many more 
places. Hence saith Jude, ver. 25. " To the only wise God 
our Saviour, be glory and majesty," &c. not to men. 

Lastly, All these titles of honour are to be rejected by 
Christians, because they are to seek the honour that comes 
from above, and not the honour that is from below. Is it 
the meek and innocent Spirit of Christ that covets that 
honour? Is it that Spirit that must be of no reputa- 
tion in this world, that has its conversation in hea- 
ven, that comes to have fellowship with the sons of God ? 
If we respect the cause that most frequently procures to 
men these titles of honour, there is not one of a thousand 
that shall be found to be, on account of any Christian 
virtue ; but rather of things to be discommended among 
Christians : as by the favour of princes, procured by flat- 
tering, and often by worse means. The most frequent. 


and accounted among men most honourable, Is fighting, 
or some great martial exploit, which can add nothing to 
a Christian's worth : since, sure it is, it were desirable 
there were no fightings among Christians at all ; and in so 
far as there are, it shews they are not right Christians. 
And James tells us, that fighting proceeds from the lusts. 
So that it were fitter for Christians, by the sword of 
God's Spirit, to fight against their lusts, than by the preva- 
lency of their lusts to destroy one another. Whatever 
honour any might have attained of old under the Law 
this way, we find under the Gospel Christians commended 
for suffering, not for fighting; neither did any of Christ's 
disciples offer outward violence by the sword, save one, in 
cutting off Malchus's ear ; for which he received no title 
of honour, but a just reproof. Finally, if we look either 
to the nature of this honour, the cause of it, the ways it 
is conveyed, the terms in which it is delivered, it cannot 
be used by such as desire to be Christians in good 

8. IV. Now besides these general titles of honour, what 
gross abuses are crept in among such as are called Chris- 
tians in the use of compliments, wherein not servants to 
masters, or others, with respect to any such kind of rela- 
tions, do say and write to one another. Your humble ser- 
vant. Your most obedient servant, &c. Such customs 
have, to the great prejudice of souls, accustomed Chris- 
tians to lie ; and to use lying is now come to be accounted 
civility. For it is notorious, that these compliments im- 
port not any design of service, neither are any such fools 
as to think so. 

8. V. It will not be unfit in this place to say something 
concerning the using of the singular number to one per- 
son; of this there is no controversy in the Latin. For 
when we speak to one, we always use the i)ronoun TU, 


and he that would do otherwise, would break the rules of 
grammar. For what boy, learning his rudiments, is igno- 
rant, that it is incongruous to say you lovest, you readest*, 
speaking to one? But the pride of man, that hath cor- 
rupted many things, refuses also to use this simplicity of 
speaking in the vulgar languages. For being puffed up 
with a vain opinion of themselves, as if the singular num- 
ber were not sufficient for them, they will have others to 
speak to them in the plural. 

This fonn of speaking then, and these profane titles, 
derive their origin from the base flattery of these last 
ages, and from the delicate haughtiness of worldly men, 
that thereby they might honour one another, under I 
know not what pretence of civility and respect. 

§. VI. Next unto this of titles, the other part of honour 
used among Christians is the kneehng, bowing, and un- 
covering of the head one to another. I know nothing our 
opponents have to plead for them in this matter, save 
some few instances of the Old Testament, and the custom 
of the country. 

The first are, such as Abraham's bowing himself to 
the children of Heth, and Lot to the two angels, &c. 

But the practices of these patriarchs, related as matter 
of fact, are not to be a rule to Christians now; neither 
are we to imitate them in every practice, which has not a 
particular reproof added to it. Let it be observed then, 
whether our reasons for laying aside these things be not 
weighty enough to uphold us in so doing. 

First, We say, That God, who is the Creator of man, 
and he to whom he oweth the dedication both of soul 
and body, is over all to be worshipped and adored, and 
that not only by the sphit, but also with the prostration 

• Vos amas, vos legis. 


of body. Now kneeling, bowing, and uncovering of the 
head, are the only outward marks of our adoration to- 
wards God, and therefore it is not lawful to use them 
unto man. He that boweth and uncovereth his head to 
the creature, what hath he reserved to the Creator? The 
apostle shews us, that the uncovering of the head is that 
which God requires of us in our worshipping of him, 
1 Cor. xi. 14. But if we make our address to men in the 
same manner, where lieth the difference ? 

Secondly, Men being alike by creation (though their 
being placed under their several relations requires from 
them mutual services according to those respective rela- 
tions) owe not worship one to another, but all equally are 
to return it to God: because it is to him, and his name 
alone, that every knee must bow. Therefore for men to 
take this one from another, is to rob God of his glory: 
since all the duties of relation may be performed one to 
another without this kind of bowings, which therefore are 
no essential part of our duty to man. 

And forasmuch as we are accused herein of rudeness 
and pride, though the testimony of our consciences in the 
sight of God sufficiently repels such calumnies, yet there 
are of us known to be men of such education, as forbear 
not these things for want of that they call good breeding; 
and we should be very void of reason, to purchase that 
pride at so dear a rate, as many have done the exercise 
of their conscience in this matter. Now suppose it were 
our weakness, and we really under a mistake in this thing, 
since it is not alleged to be the breach of any Christian 
precept, are we not to be indulged, as the apostle com- 
manded should be done to such as scruple to eat flesh? 
This I can say boldly, in the sight of God, from my own 
experience, and that of many thousands more, that how- 
ever small or foolish this may seem, yet we behoved to 


choose death rather than do it, and that for conscience' 
sake: and that in its being so contrary to our natural spi- 
rits, there are many of us, to whom the forsaking of these 
bowings and ceremonies was as death itself; which we 
could never have left, if we could have enjoyed our peace 
with God in the use of them. Though it be far from us to 
judge all those to whom God hath not shewn the evil of 
them, under the like hazard; yet nevertheless we doubt 
not but to such as would prove faithful witnesses to Christ's 
divine hght in their consciences, God will also shew the 
evil of these things. 

§. VII. The third thing to be treated of, is the super- 
perfluity of apparel. In which, first, two things are to be 
considered, the condition of the person, and the country 
he lives in. We shall not say that all persons are to be 
clothed alike, because it will perhaps neither suit their 
bodies nor their estates. And if a man be clothed sober- 
ly, and without superfluity, though finer than that which 
his servant is clothed with, we shall not blame him 
for it : the abstaining from superfluities, which his condi- 
tion and education have accustomed him to, may be in 
him a greater act of mortification than the abstaining from 
finer clothes in the servant, who never was accustomed to 
them. As to the country, what it naturally produces may 
be no vanity to the inhabitants to use, or what is com- 
monly imparted to them by way of exchange, seeing it is 
without doubt that the creation is for the use of man. 
The iniquity Hes here. First, when from a lust of vanity, 
and a desire to adorn themselves, men and women, not 
content with what their condition can bear, or their coun- 
try easily afibrds, do stretch to have things, that from 
their rarity, and the price that is put upon them, seem to 
be precious, and so feed their lust the more. 

Secondly, when men are not content to make a true use 


of the creation, whether the things be fine or coarse, and 
do not satisfy themselves with what need and conveniency 
call for, but add thereunto things merely superfluous. 
And though sober men will say, that it were better these 
things were not, yet will they not reckon them unlawful, 
and therefore do admit the use of them among their church- 
members : but we do account them altogether unlawful, 
and unsuitable to Christians. 

The Scripture severely reproves such practices, both 
commending and commanding the contrary ; as Isa. iii. how 
severely doth the prophet reprove the daughters of Israel 
for their tinkling ornaments, their cauls, and their round 
tires, their chains and bracelets, &c. and yet is it not 
strange to see Christians allow themselves in these things, 
from whom a more strict and exemplary conversation is re- 
quired ? Christ desires us not to be anxious about our 
clothing. Mat. vi. 25. and to shew the vanity of such as 
glory in the splendour of their clothing, tells them, That 
even Solomon, in all his glory, was not to be compared to 
the lily of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast 
into the oven. But surely they make small reckoning of 
Christ's word and doctrine, that are so curious in their 
clothing, and so earnest to justify it. The apostle Paul 
is very positive in this respect, 1 Tim. ii. 9, 10. " I will 
therefore in like manner also that women adorn themselves 
in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, and 
not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array, 
but (which becometh women professing godliness) with 
good works." To the same purpose saith Peter, 1 Pet. iii. 
3, 4. " Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorn- 
ing of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or of putting 
on of apparel ; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, 
in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit." 


§. VIII. Fourthly, Let us consider the use of games, 
sports, comedies, and other such things, commonly used 
by all the several sorts of Christians, under the notion of 
divertisement and recreation, and see whether these things 
can consist with the gravity, and godly fear, which the 
gospel calls for. Let us but view the notions of them that 
call themselves Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, 
and see if generally there be any difference, save in mere 
name and profession, from the heathen? Doth not the 
same folly, the same vanity, tlie same abuse of precious 
and irrevocable time abound? The same gaming, sport- 
ing, and from thence quarrelling, fighting, swearing, revel- 
ling? Now how can these things be remedied, so long 
as the preachers and professors, and those who are the 
leaders of the people, do allow these things, and account 
them not inconsistent with the profession of Christianity? 
The apostle commands us. That whether we eat or drink, 
or whatever we do, we do it all to the glory of God. But 
I judge none will affirm, That in the use of these sports 
and games God is glorified : if any should so say, they 
would declare they neither knew God, nor his glory. 
And experience abundantly proves, that in the practice of 
these things men mind nothing less than the glory of God, 
and nothing more than the satisfaction of their own carnal 
wills and appetites. 

§. IX. But they object. That men's spirits could not 
subsist, if they were always intent upon serious and spi- 
ritual matters, and that therefore there is need of some 
divertisement to recreate the mind a little, whereby it be- 
ing refreshed, is able with greater vigour to apply itself to 
those things. 

I answer ; Though all this were granted, it would no 
ways militate against us, neither vindicate the use of 
these things, which we would have wholly laid aside. For 



that men should be always in the same intentlveness of 
mind, we do not plead, knowing how impossible it is, so 
long as we are clothed with this tabernacle of clay. But 
this will not allow us at any time so to recede from the re- 
membrance of God, and of our souls' chief concern, as not 
still to retain a certain sense of his fear ; which cannot be 
so much as rationally supposed to be in the use of these 
things which we condemn. Now the necessary occasions 
in which all are involved, in order to the care of the out- 
ward man, are a relaxation of the mind from the more 
serious duties ; and those are performed in the blessing, 
as the mind is so leavened with the love of God, and the 
sense of his presence, that even in doing these things the 
soul earrieth with it that divine influence and spiritual 
habit, whereby though these acts, as of eating, drinking, 
sleeping, working, be upon the matter one with w^hat the 
wicked do, yet they are done in another Spirit ; and in 
doing of them we please the Lord, serve him, and answer 
our own end in the creation, and so feel his blessing. 
Now if any will plead, that for relaxation of mind there 
may be a liberty allowed beyond these things, which are 
of absolute need to the sustenance of the outward man, I 
shall not contend against it ; provided these things be not 
such as are wholly superfluous, or in their proper nature 
and tendency lead the mind into vanity and wantonness, 
as being chiefly contrived for that end, or generally ex- 
perienced to produce these effects, or being the common 
engines of such as are so minded to feed one another 
therein, and to propagate their wickedness to the impoison- 
ing of others, seeing there are other innocent divertisements 
which may sufficiently serve for relaxation of the mind. 

§. X. Fifthly, The use of swearing is to be considered, 
which is so frequently practised almost among all Chris- 
tians; not only profane oaths among the profane, in their 


common discourses, whereby the most holy name of Ciod 
is in a horrible manner daily blasphemed; but also 
solemn oaths, with those that have some shew of piety, 
whereof the most part do defend swearing before the 
magistrate, with great zeal. 

But considering these clear words of our Saviour, Mat. 
V. S3, 34. " Again ye have heard that it hath been said 
by them of old tune, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but 
shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths. But I say unto 
you. Swear not at all, neither by heaven," &;c. " But 
let your communication be yea, yea; nay, nay; for what- 
soever is more than these, cometh of e\il." As also the 
words of the apostle James, v. 12. " But above all things, 
my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the 
earth, neither by any other oath ; but let your yea be yea, 
and your nay, nay, lest ye fall into condemnation." I say, 
considering these clear words, it is admirable how any one 
that professeth the name of Christ can pronounce any 
oath with a quiet conscience, far less persecute other 
Christians, that dare not swear, because of their master 
Christ's authority. For did any one purpose seriousl}', 
and in the most rigid manner, to forbid any thing com- 
prehended under any general, can he use a more full and 
general prohibition, and that without any exception? I 
think not. For Christ, First, proposeth it to us negatively, 
Swear not at all, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor 
by Jerusalem, nor by thy head, &;c. And again, Swear 
not by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath. Se- 
condly, he presseth it affirmatively, " But let your com- 
munication be yea, yea, and nay, nay ; for whatsoever is 
more than these cometh of evil." And, saith James, 
*' Lest ye fall into condemnation." 

Which words, both all and every one of them, do make 
such a full prohibition, and so free of all exception, that 

t 2 

STG PRorosiTiox XV, 

it is strange how men that boast the Scripture is the rule 
of their faith and hfe, can devise any exception! Cer- 
tainly reason ought to teach every one, that it is not law- 
ful to make void a general prohibition coming from God 
by such opposition, unless the exception be as clearly ex- 
pressed as the prohibition: neither is it enough to endea- 
vour to confirm it by consequences and probabilities, 
which are obscure and uncertain, and not sufficient to 
bring quiet to the conscience. Moreover, if Christ would 
have excepted oaths made before magistrates, certainly he 
had then expressed, adding, Except in judgment, before 
the magistrate, or the like ; as he did in that of divorce- 
ment by these words, " Saving for the cause of fornication :" 
which being so, it is not lawful for us to except or dis- 
tinguish, or, which is all one, make void this general pro- 
hibition of Christ ; it would be far less agreeable to Chris- 
tian holiness to bring upon our heads the crimes of so 
many oaths, which by reason of this corruption and ex- 
ception are so frequent among Christians. 

Neither is it to be omitted that without doubt the most 
learned doctors of each sect know, that these fore-men- 
tioned words were understood by the ancient fathers of the 
first three hundred years after Christ, to be a prohibition 
of all sorts of oaths. Moreover, because not only Papists, 
but also Lutherans and Calvinists, and some others, do 
restrict the words of Christ and James, I think it needful 
to make manifest the vain foundation upon which that 
presumption in this matter is built. 

§. XI. They object. That Christ only forbids these 
oaths that are made by creatures, and things created ; and 
they prove it thence, because he numbers some of these 

Secondly, all rash and vain oaths in familiar discourses; 


because he saitli, " Let your communication be yea, yea, 
and nay, nay." 

To which I answer, First, That the law did forbid all 
oaths made by the creatures, as also all vain and rash 
oaths in our common discourses, commanding. That men 
shoiUd only swear by the name of God, and that neither 
falsely nor rashly; for that is to take his name in vain. 

Secondly, It is most evident that Christ forbids some- 
what that was permitted under the law, to wit, to swear 
by the name of God, because it was not lawful for any 
man to swear but by God himself. And because he saith, 
" Neither by heaven, because it is the throne of God ;" 
therefore he excludes all other oaths, even those which 
are made by God ; for he saith, chap, xxiii. 22. " He that 
shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, 
and by him that sitteth thereon:" which is also to be un- 
derstood of the rest. 

Lastly, That he might put the matter beyond all con- 
troversy, he adds, " Neither by any other oath :" there- 
fore seeing to swear before the magistrate by God is an 
oath, it is here without doubt forbidden. 

§. XIL They object, But the apostle Paul approves 
oaths used among men, when he writes, Heb. vi. 16. " For 
men verily swear by the greater, and an oath for con- 
firmation is to them an end of all strife." But there are 
as many contests, fallacies, and diffidences at this time as 
there ever were ; therefore the necessity of oaths doth yet 

I answer; The apostle tells indeed in this place what 
men at that time did, who lived in controversies and incre- 
dulity; not what they ought to have done, nor what the 
saints did, who were I'edeemed from strife and incredulity, 
and had come to Christ, the Truth and Ainen of God. 
Moreover, he only alludes to a certain custom usual amon'^'^ 


men, that he might express the firmness of the divine 
promise, in order to excite in the saints so much the more 
confidence in God promising to them; not that he might 
instic^ate them to swear contrary to the law of God, or 
confirm them in that; not at all: for neither doth 1 Cor. 
ix. 24. teach Christians the vain races, whereby men often- 
times, even to the destruction of their bodies, are wearied 
to obtain a corruptible prize; so neither doth Christ, who 
is the Prince of Peace, teach his disciples to fight, albeit 
he takes notice, Luke xiv. 31. what it behoved such kings 
to do who are accustomed to fight, as prudent warriors 
therein. Secondly, as to what pertains to contests, per- 
fidies, and diffidences among men, which our opponents 
affirm to have grown to such an height, that swearing is 
at present as necessary as ever, that we deny not at all: 
for we see, and daily experience teacheth us, that all man- 
ner of deceit and malice doth increase among worldly 
men and false Christians ; but not among true Christians. 
But because men cannot trust one another, and therefore 
require oaths one of another, it will not therefore follow 
that true Christians ought to do so, whom Christ has 
brought to faithfulness and honesty, as well towards God 
as one towards another, and therefore has delivered them 
from contests, perfidies, and consequently from oaths. 

They object. We grant, that among true Christians 
there is not need of oaths ; but by what means shall we 
infallibly know them ? It will follow then that oaths are 
at present needful, and that it is lawful for Christians to 
swear ; to wit, that such may be satisfied who will not ac- 
knowledge this and the other man to be a Christian. 

I answer. It is no ways lawful for a Christian to swear, 
whom Christ has called to his essential truth, which was be- 
fore all oaths, forbidding him to swear ; and on the contrary, 
commanding him to speak the truth in all things, to the 


lionour of Christ who called him; that it may appear that 
the words of his disciples may be as truly believed as the 
oaths of all worldly men. Neither is it lawful for them to 
be unfaithful in this, that they may please others, or that 
they may avoid their hurt : for thus the primitive Christians 
for some ages remained faithful, who, being required to 
swear, did unanimously answer, " I am a Christian, I do 
not sweai"." 

Who then needs further to doubt, but that since Christ 
would have his disciples attain the highest pitch of perfec- 
tion, he abrogated oaths, as a rudiment of infirmity, and 
in place thereof established the use of truth? Who can 
now any more think that the holy martyrs and ancient 
fathers of the first three hundred years, and many others 
since that time, have so opposed themselves to oaths, that 
they might only rebuke vain and rash oaths by the crea- 
tures, or heathen idols, which were also prohibited under 
the Mosaical law. 

Lastly, They object, This will bring in fraud and con- 
fusion ; for impostors will counterfeit probity, and under 
the benefit of this dispensation will he without fear of 

I answer. There are two things which obhge a man to 
speak the truth; First, Either the fear of God in his 
heart, and love of truth ; for where this is, there is no 
need of oaths to speak the truth; or. Secondly, The fear 
of punishment. Therefore let there be the same, or rather 
greater punishment appointed to those who pretend so 
great truth in words, and so great simplicity in heart that 
they cannot lie, and so great reverence towards the law of 
Christ, that for conscience' sake they deny to swear in any 
wise, if they fail; and so there shall be the same good 
order, yea, greater security against deceivers, than if oaths 
were continued; and that, by the more severe punishment, 

280 rROPosiTioN xv. 

to which these false dissemblers shall be liable. Hence 
wicked men shall be more terrified, and good men deli- 
vered from all oppression, both in their hberty and goods : 
for which respect to tender consciences, God hath often a 
regard to magistrates and their state, as a thing most ac- 
ceptable to him. 

§. XIII. Sixthly, The last thing to be considered, is 
revenge and war, an evil as contrary to the Spirit and 
doctrine of Christ as light to darkness. For, as through 
contempt of Christ's law the whole world is filled with 
various oaths, cursings, blasphemous profanations, and 
horrid perjuries ; so hkewise, through contempt of the 
same law, the world is filled with violence, murders, depre- 
dations, burnings, devastations, and all manner of lascivi- 
ousness, and cruelty : so that it is strange that men, made 
after the image of God, should have so much degenerated, 
that they rather bear the image and nature of hons, tigers, 
wolves, and boars, than of rational creatures endued with 
reason. And is it not yet much more admiraMe, that this 
horrid monster should find place, and be fomented, among 
those men that profess themselves disciples of our peaceable 
Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who emphatically is called 
the Prince of Peace, and hath expressly prohibited his 
children all violence ; and on the contrary, commanded 
them, that, according to his example, they should follow 
patience, charity, and other virtues worthy of a Christian* ? 

Hear then what this great prophet saith, whom every 
soul is commanded to hear, under the pain of being cut 
off: " Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for 

* On this subject the testimony of an eminent heathen is remarkable, 
" Cum vel iniquissimam pacem justissinw hello anteferrem,--Cic. Epist. ad. 
FamiLvi. 6- 

" War in all cases is accompanied with dreadful evils ; of which we are 
apt to consider the heavy expence, as if it were the only one, and for/^ct 


an eye, and a tooth for a tooth ; But I say unto you, That 
ye resist not evil ; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy 
right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man 
will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let hira 
have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to 
go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh 
thee ; and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not 
thou away. Ye have heard that it has been said. Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy : but I say 
unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, 
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which 
despitefuUy use you, and persecute you, that ye may be 
the children of your Father which is in heaven. For he 
maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and 
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love 
them which love you, what reward have ye ? Do not even 
the PubUcans the same ? And if ye salute your brethren 
only, what do you more than others ? Do not even the 
Publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your 
Father which is in heaven is perfect." 

These words, with respect to revenge, as the fonner in 
the case of swearing, do forbid some things, which in time 

the sufferings and miserable deaths of such multitudes of human crea- 
tures, though EVERY ONE of them is a murdee, committed by the 
authors of this calamity." 

Archbishop Secker.— fForftj, Vol. III. p. 376. 

" If men be subjects of Christ's law, they can never go to war with 
each other." 

Bishop Tayi-or. 

To do evil that good may ensue, is utterly irreconcilable with sound 
morality ; but the prosecution of all wars is connected with the principle 
of doing evil that good may ensue ; therefore all wars are immoral : much 
more are they anlichristian — Edit. 


past were lawful to the Jews, considering their condition 
and dispensation ; and command unto such as will be the 
disciples of Christ, a more perfect and full signification of 
charity, as also patience and suffering, than was required 
of them in that time, state, and dispensation, by the laAv of 
Moses. This is not only the judgment of most, if not all, 
the ancient fathers, so called, of the first three hundred 
years after Christ, but also of many others, and in general 
of all those, who have rightly understood and propagated 
the law of Christ concerning swearing. 

From hence it appears, that there is so great a con- 
nexion betwixt these two precepts of Christ, that as they 
were uttered and commanded by him at one and the same 
time, so the same way they were received by men of all 
ages, not only in the first promulgation by the little number 
of the disciples, but also after the Christians increased in 
the first three hundred years. Even so in the apostasy, 
the one was not left and rejected without the other; and 
now again in the restitution, and renewed preaching of the 
eternal gospel, they are acknowledged as eternal and un- 
changeable laws, properly belonging to the evangelical 
state and perfection thereof; from which if any withdraw, 
he falls short of the perfection of a Christian man. 

And truly the words are so clear in themselves, that, in 
my judgment, they need no illustration to explain their 
sense ; for it is as easy to reconcile the greatest contradic- 
tions, as these laws of our Lord Jesus Christ with the 
wicked practices of wars ; for they are plainly inconsistent. 
Whosever can reconcile this. Resist not evil, with resist 
violence by force: again, Give also thy other cheek, with 
strike again; also, Love thine enemies, with spoil them, 
make a prey of them, pursue them with fire and sword ; 
or, Pray for those that persecute you, and those that 
calumniate you, with persecute them by fines, imprison^ 


ments, and death itself; and not only such as do not per- 
secute you, but who heartily seek and desire your eternal 
and temporal welfare: whoever, I say, can find a mean to 
reconcile these things, may be supposed also to have found 
a way to reconcile God with the devil, Christ with anti- 
christ, light with darkness, and good with evil. 

§. XIV. Nevertheless because some, perhaps through 
inadvertency, and by the force of custom and tradition, do 
transgress this command of Christ, I shall briefly show how 
much war doth contradict this precept, and how much they 
are inconsistent with one another ; and consequently, that 
war is no ways lawful to such as will be the disciples of 
Christ. For, 

First, Christ commands, That we should love our 
enemies ; but war, on the contrary, teaches us to hate and 
destroy them. 

Secondly, The apostle saith, That we war not after the 
flesh, and that we fight not with flesh and blood ; but out- 
ward war is according to the flesh, and against flesh and 
blood ; for the shedding of the one, and destroying of the 

Thirdly, The apostle saith, That the weapons of our 
warfare are not carnal, but spiritual ; but the weapons of 
outward warfare are carnal, such as cannon, muskets, 
spears, swords, &c. of which there is no mention in the 
armour described by Paul. 

Fourthly, Because James testifies, That wars and strifes 
come from the lusts, which war in the members of carnal 
men ; but Christians, that is, those that are truly saints, 
have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts; 
therefore they cannot indulge them by waging war. 

Fifthly, Because the prophets Isaiah and Micah have 
prophesied. That in the mountain of the house of the 


Lord, Christ shall judge the nations, and then they shall 
beat their swords into ploughshares, &c. 

Sixthly, Because the prophet foretold, That there 
should none hurt nor kill in all the holy mountain of the 
Lord; but outward war is appointed for killing and de- 

Seventhly, Because Christ said, That his kingdom is 
not of this world, and therefore that his servants shall not 
fight ; therefore those that fight are not his disciples nor 

Eighthly, Because he reproved Peter for the use of the 
sword, saying, Put up again thy sword into his place ; for 
all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword. 

Ninthly, Because the apostle admonisheth Christians, 
That they defend not themselves, neither revenge by ren- 
dering evil for evil; but give place unto wrath, because 
vengeance is the Lord's. Be not overcome of evil, but 
overcome evil with good. If thine enemy hunger, feed 
him ; if he thirst, give him drink. But war throughout 
teacheth the quite contrary. 

Tenthly, Because Christ calls his children to bear his 
cross, not to crucify or kill others ; to patience, not to re- 
venge ; to truth and simplicity, not to fraudulent strata- 
gems of war; to flee the glory of this world, not to acquire 
it by warlike endeavours ; therefore war is altogether con- 
trary unto the law and Spirit of Christ. 

§. XV. But they object, That it is lawful to war, be- 
cause Abraham did war before the giving of the law, and 
the Israelites after the giving of the law. 

I answer as before, L That Abraham offered sacrifices 
at that time, and circumcised the males ; which neverthe- 
less are not lawful for us under the gospel. 
a. That neither defensive nor oflJensive war was lawful 


to the Israelites of their own will, or by their own counsel 
or conduct; but they were obliged at all times, if they 
would be successful, first to enquire of the oracle of God. 

3. That their wars against the wicked nations were a 
figure of the inward war of the true Christians againdt 
their spiritual enemies, in which we overcome the devil, 
the world, and the flesh. 

4. Something is expressly forbidden by Christ, Mat. v. 
38, &c. which was granted to the Jews in their time, be- 
cause of their hardness ; and on the contrary, we are com- 
manded that singular patience and exercise of love which 
Moses commanded not to his disciples. 

They object, That defence is of natural right, and that 
rehgion destroys not nature. 

I answer, be it so ; but to obey God, and commend our- 
selves to him in faith and patience, is not to destroy nature, 
but to exalt and perfect it ; to wit, to elevate it from the 
natural to the supernatural life, by Christ living therein, 
and comforting it, that it may do all things, and be ren- 
dered more than conqueror. 

They object. That John did not abrogate or condemn 
war, when the soldiers came unto him. 

I answer, What then ? The question is not concerning 
John's doctrine, but Christ's, whose disciples we are, not 
John's: for Christ, and not John, is that prophet whom we 
ought all to hear. And although Christ said. That a 
greater than John the Baptist was not among men born 
of women, yet he adds. That the least in the kingdom of 
God is greater than he. But what was John's answer, 
that we may see if it can justify the soldiers of this time ? 
For if it be narrowly observed, it will appear, that what he 
proposeth to soldiers doth manifestly forbid them that em- 
ployment ; for he commands them not to do violence to any 


man, nor to defraud any man; but that they be content 
with their wages. Consider then what he forbiddeth to 
soldiers, viz. To use violence or deceit against any ; which 
being removed, let any tell how soldiers can war ? For are 
not craft, violence, and injustice, three properties of war, 
and the natural consequences of battles ? 

It is well known that almost all the modern sects live 
in the neglect of this law of Christ, and likewise oppress 
others, who in this agree not with them for conscience' 
sake towards God. By which forcing of the conscience, 
they would have constrained our brethren, living in divers 
kingdoms at war together, to have implored our God for 
contrary and contradictory things, and consequently im- 
possible ; for it is impossible that two parties fighting to- 
gether, should both obtain the victory. And because we 
cannot concur with them in this confusion, therefore we 
are subject to persecution. 

They object. That the Scriptures did only prohibit pri- 
vate revenge, not the use of arms for the defence of our 
country, body, wives, children, and goods, when the ma- 
gistrate commands it, seeing the magistrate ought to be 
obeyed ; therefore although it be not lawful for private men 
to do it of themselves, nevertheless they are bound to do it 
by the command of the magistrate. 

I answer. If the magistrate be truly a Christian, or de- 
sires to be so, he ought himself, in the first place, to obey 
the command of his master, saying, " Love your enemies," 
&c. and then he could not command us to kill them; but if 
he be not a true Christian, then ought we to obey our Lord 
and King, Jesus Christ, whom he ought also to obey : for 
in the kingdom of Christ all ought to submit to his laws, 
from the highest to the lowest, that is, from the king to the 
beggar. But alas ! where shall we find such an obedience? 


Lastly, as to what relates to this thing, since nothing seems 
more contrary to man's nature, and seeing of all things the 
defence of one's self seems most tolerahle, as it is most hard 
to men to relinquish, so it is the most perfect part of the 
Christian religion, as that wherein the denial of self and 
entire confidence in God doth most appear ; and therefore 
Christ and his apostles left us hereof a most perfect ex- 


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